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Conservation & Waterways News

Posted on: December 10, 2021

Department Dispatch: 2021 Atlantic Brant Research Project

Atlantic brant with geolocator "backpack" and two white tarsal leg bands.

Report by Leah Gath, Hofstra University

The Town of Hempstead is currently assisting the Canadian Wildlife Service, New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and University of Missouri with a research project on Atlantic brant. Atlantic brant are a small species of goose that nest in the Arctic and spend winter along the Atlantic coast, with ~85% of the population concentrating on Long Island and New Jersey. Since 2018, approximately 3,000 brant have been captured on Arctic breeding areas and wintering areas of Long Island and New Jersey, fitted with colored leg bands that have unique alphanumeric codes for each individual, and released back into the wild. Staff have been conducting “resighting” surveys for the past two winters, where previously captured and released brant are found again and their unique color band code is recorded, resulting in the collection of over 3,000 colored band resightings. Through these resightings, researchers will estimate survival and reproduction of Atlantic brant, as well as the drivers of these rates to better inform conservation planning of this largely understudied species of waterfowl iconic to Long Island and the Atlantic Flyway. 

If you see a color banded Atlantic brant, please record your observation and if possible, take pictures of the color bands, then report your findings to  

Additional Info on NYS DEC's banding program...
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