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LENSINK R, BERGH LMJ, & VOSLAMBER B (2013) The 20th century history of the Greylag Goose Anser anser as a breeding bird in the Netherlands. LIMOSA 86 (1): 1-11.

In the early 20th century the Greylag Goose was a scarce breeding bird in the last remaining marshes of the Dutch lowlands. Due to collecting of eggs and hunting their number decreased, and in the 1930s the last breeding records came from some Frisian marshlands. In the 1940s and 1950s in some years (possible) breeding was confirmed in areas along the eastern part of Lake IJsselmeer. In the 1960s this was the case in the newly reclaimed polders of Flevoland, where from 1965 onwards a breeding population developed in the Oostvaardersplassen. This was the beginning of the recolonisation of former breeding areas and an expansion of the breeding population. Based on regional reports and publications, the history of the population increase and range expansion is described in this paper.
      Since 1956 Greylag Geese have been introduced at eight sites: two in Friesland (1967, 1968), the Wadden Sea island of Texel (1976), Het Zwin (Belgium, 1955), Scheelhoek (1972), Biesbosch (1972), Ooijpolder (1976) and Viersen (Germany 1980s). All eight became cores of population growth and range expansion (Table 1, Fig. 2). At the end of the 20th century most of the colonisation lines connected (Fig. 1). The average rate of increase of the combined Dutch population was 24% a year between 1969 and 1998. Since then, the increase has continued, though at a somewhat slower rate. The history of the Dutch Greylag Goose was marked by low rates of range expansion (≤2 km per year). This can be explained by very low dispersal distances. It is argued that the species was never extinct in the Netherlands. The last remaining geese in the 1930s probably found their way to the developing swamps in the newly reclaimed Noordoostpolder and Flevoland and became successful there. The latter area became the source population for the colonization of large parts of the Netherlands

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limosa 86.1 2013
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