Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

France as a staging and wintering area for Greylag Geese Anser anser.

  • Leif Nilsson
  • Arne Follestad
  • Matthieu Guillemain
  • Vincent Schricke
  • Berend Voslamber
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 24-39
Publication/Series: Wildfowl
Volume: 63
Document type: Journal article

Abstract english

France is traditionally a staging area for Greylag Geese Anser anser migrating from
northwest Europe to wintering sites in Spain, though increasing numbers have
wintered in France over the last three decades. This paper considers sightings within
France of neck-banded individuals marked elsewhere in Europe since the 1980s, to
determine the origin of Greylag Geese staging and now wintering in the country. The geese included in this study were all caught in summer during the annual moult, either as family groups or in non-breeding flocks. Most sightings of neck-banded geese were from western France, and most birds identified were from breeding areas in the Nordic countries or to a lesser extent in the Netherlands. The Lac du Der area in northeast France was found to be a wintering area for an introduced population of Greylags established southwest of Stockholm in Sweden, and the geese wintering on the Camargue in southern France were recruited mainly from central Europe. Numbers wintering in France have increased in line with the general increase in the European Greylag Goose population, whereas numbers on passage in France have not increased in the same way, possibly due to a northward shift in the winter distribution of Greylags across Europe. The numbers wintering in France are, however, still small compared to other areas along the flyway.


  • Zoology
  • Ecology
  • breeding origin
  • colour-marked
  • neck bands staging


Leif Nilsson
E-mail: leif [dot] nilsson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emeritus


+46 46 222 37 09

+46 70 525 57 09


Sölvegatan 37, Lund


Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden