The trans-Himalayan flights of bar-headed geese (Anser indicus)


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HAWKES, Lucy A., Sivananinthaperumal BALACHANDRAN, Nyambayar BATBAYAR, Patrick J. BUTLER, Peter B. FRAPPELL, William K. MILSOM, Natsagdorj TSEVEENMYADAG, Scott H. NEWMAN, Graham R. SCOTT, Ponnusamy SATHIYASELVAM, John Y. TAKEKAWA, Martin WIKELSKI, Charles M. BISHOP, 2011. The trans-Himalayan flights of bar-headed geese (Anser indicus). In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108(23), pp. 9516-9519. ISSN 0027-8424. eISSN 1091-6490

@article{Hawkes2011-06-07trans-19919, title={The trans-Himalayan flights of bar-headed geese (Anser indicus)}, year={2011}, doi={10.1073/pnas.1017295108}, number={23}, volume={108}, issn={0027-8424}, journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences}, pages={9516--9519}, author={Hawkes, Lucy A. and Balachandran, Sivananinthaperumal and Batbayar, Nyambayar and Butler, Patrick J. and Frappell, Peter B. and Milsom, William K. and Tseveenmyadag, Natsagdorj and Newman, Scott H. and Scott, Graham R. and Sathiyaselvam, Ponnusamy and Takekawa, John Y. and Wikelski, Martin and Bishop, Charles M.} }

Newman, Scott H. Batbayar, Nyambayar Bishop, Charles M. Balachandran, Sivananinthaperumal Wikelski, Martin Publ. in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America ; 108 (2011), 23. - pp. 9516-9519 2012-08-06T18:51:34Z deposit-license Butler, Patrick J. Sathiyaselvam, Ponnusamy Bishop, Charles M. Batbayar, Nyambayar Frappell, Peter B. Hawkes, Lucy A. Butler, Patrick J. Hawkes, Lucy A. Milsom, William K. The trans-Himalayan flights of bar-headed geese (Anser indicus) Scott, Graham R. Tseveenmyadag, Natsagdorj Balachandran, Sivananinthaperumal Scott, Graham R. Frappell, Peter B. 2012-08-06T18:51:34Z Takekawa, John Y. Sathiyaselvam, Ponnusamy 2011-06-07 eng Tseveenmyadag, Natsagdorj Newman, Scott H. Milsom, William K. Takekawa, John Y. Birds that fly over mountain barriers must be capable of meeting the increased energetic cost of climbing in low-density air, even though less oxygen may be available to support their metabolism. This challenge is magnified by the reduction in maximum sustained climbing rates in large birds. Bar-headed geese (Anser indicus) make one of the highest and most iconic transmountain migrations in the world. We show that those populations of geese that winter at sea level in India are capable of passing over the Himalayas in 1 d, typically climbing between 4,000 and 6,000 m in 7–8 h. Surprisingly, these birds do not rely on the assistance of upslope tailwinds that usually occur during the day and can support minimum climb rates of 0.8–2.2 km·h<sup>−1</sup>, even in the relative stillness of the night. They appear to strategically avoid higher speed winds during the afternoon, thus maximizing safety and control during flight. It would seem, therefore, that bar-headed geese are capable of sustained climbing flight over the passes of the Himalaya under their own aerobic power. Wikelski, Martin

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