Low numbers of wintering geese in the Coastal Dobrogea

Low numbers of wintering geese in the Coastal Dobrogea

Last week a Green Balkans team has visited Coastal Dobrogea for the regular monitoring of wintering geese and water fowl in the wetlands there.

The trip around the arable land fields and the geese roosts in the wetlands once again showed low numbers of wintering geese in our country. That is mainly caused by the late growth of grain crops because of the continuous drought in the end of the last year and low precipitation in the autumns. Three species of geese were observed – White fronted (approx. 1700 ind.), Red-breasted (with maximum numbers of 120 ind.) and Greylag (70 birds).

Green Balkans experts have also executed monitoring of hunting on Wednesday – a hunting day – in both main wetlands. It is one of the main negative impacts on wintering geese in our country. Registered shots around the lakes that are preferred roost for the geese are main reason for chasing them away thus making them fly and stay overnight at sea that causes additional energy cost in these hard conditions. We remind you that geese are some of the most impressive migrants in the world covering more than 10000 km from breeding to wintering sites each year.  Currently the birds are gaining strengths and energy reserves for the return flight that will bring them back to breeding sites in the tundra where they will raise their next generation.

Monitoring of wetlands in Coastal Dobrogea – Durankulak, Shabla and Ezerets Lakes – has revealed relatively low numbers of all wildfowl wintering there. Pochards, Tufted ducks, Coots; Little, Black-necked and Great crested grebes were also observed. Interesting observations of a Black kite at Durankulak Lake and about 90 Marsh harriers at a roost in Shabla-Ezerets Lake were also recorded. In one of the feeding White-fronted geese flocks an interest leucistic individual was observed. Leucism is a condition in which there is partial loss of pigmentation in an animal but normal colouration of beak and eyes is kept thus separating it from albinism.

For additional information:
Dimitar Popov, e-mail:

The action is part of „Long-term conservation of the Red-breasted geese in their main wintering grounds” project.