Tabusintac Bay (New Brunswick, Canada): an important spring migratory stopover for Atlantic Brant (Branta bernicla hrota)
Keywords:Atlantic Brant, Branta bernicla hrota, spring migration, Common Eelgrass, Zostera marina, Tabusintac
Atlantic Brant (Branta bernicla hrota) is an Arctic-breeding migratory waterfowl that relies heavily on Common Eelgrass (Zostera marina) for food during migration and overwintering. Although the abundance of Atlantic Brant along the coasts of the Maritime provinces has declined drastically over the past decades, some flocks continue to migrate through the area in spring. Here, we present field observations of Atlantic Brant spring staging in the Tabusintac Bay, New Brunswick, Canada. We surveyed the Tabusintac Bay seven times between 26 May and 6 June 2018. We observed a maximum daily count of 1259 individuals, which is comparable to high counts from the 1970s. These spring surveys indicate the continuing importance of Tabusintac Bay to Atlantic Brant for spring staging. There is a pressing need to increase monitoring and research in the region and to preserve or enhance the quality of the area for spring staging brant.
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