Quality of food consumed by over wintering pale-bellied Brent geese Branta bernicla hrota and wigeon Anas penelope

R.G. Mathers, Ian Montgomery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The seasonal selection of food by pale-bellied Brent geese and wigeon on Strangford Lough was analysed with respect to nutritive quality. Both species selected food plants to maximise nutrition. In wigeon, food selection may also have been affected by the intolerance of this species to disturbance, forcing many individuals to feed in secondary habitats. Minerals do not seem to affect food selection, with most plant species in the diet providing a sufficiently balanced complement of nutrients. It is concluded that interspecific differences in food selection and reaction to human disturbance may have contributed to the decline in numbers of wigeon in Strangford Lough while numbers of Brent geese have been maintained. Some implications are discussed and recommendations for management are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-89
Number of pages9
JournalBiology and Environment-Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy
Volume97B
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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