BIO 203


Bar-Headed Geese landing in their habitat

The Bar-Headed Goose has two main habitats: one in the spring time during its breeding season and one in the winter. The Bar-Headed Goose spends its winters mostly in northern India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar (Arkive, 2003-2013). While there they make their home near marshes, swamps, rivers and lakes. During breeding season they make their nests in the highlands of central Asia (Arkive, 2003-2013). Some popular breeding areas are Western China, Kazakstan, Mongolia, and Kyrgyzstant and Northern India. The Bar-Headed Goose’s largest breeding site is Qinghai Lake, located in Qinghai China. About six thousand birds breed there each year (Guo-Gang et al, 2011). In order to get from their wintering grounds to breeding grounds these birds migrate over the Himalayan Mountains. It is amazing that they are able to do this due to the low oxygen pressure and thin air present at 6,000 meters above sea level. This journey can cover distances of up to five thousand miles and take up to two months to complete (Than, 2011). The geese obviously cannot complete this trip without stopping so they take a break at stop-over sites where they rest and get the necessary nutrients to continue. Their stop-over sites are typically wetlands (Guo-Gang et al, 2011). Some other neat organisms that have similar habitats are the partridge (Alectoris chukar), which lives in India and the Snow Leopard, which is also able to handle the harsh environment of the Himalayas.    



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