A demographic comparison of two Nordic populations of Greylag Geese Anser anser
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Greylag Geese Anser anser have been neck-banded on an annual basis in Scania, southern Sweden since 1984 and in Norway since 1986 as part of a Nordic Greylag project. This has yielded a large database of resightings, which we used here to estimate and compare survival rates between the two populations by means of mark-recapture models. Estimated adult survival was sex-dependent in the Scanian population, probably a result of differential neck band retention rates in this population. Mean juvenile survival was about 12% higher in the Scanian population (0.603 vs. 0.485). Adult survival in the Norwegian population was 0.728 (males 0.733; females 0.725), and in males and females from the Scanian population was 0.711 (0.752 after accounting for higher neck band loss in males) and 0.771, respectively. Over the course of the study, juvenile survival in the Scanian population increased substantially, and adult survival was constant, whereas both these parameters declined in the Norwegian population. This study demonstrates that the two Nordic populations are demographically distinct and gives further support to the notion that they should be treated as separate management units. The decline of 10% in adult survival in the Norwegian population, the cause of which still remains uncertain, is likely to have had a major impact on the growth of this population.