Snow Goose Overpopulation

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The Overpopulation of the Snow Goose in North America Abstract The purpose of this paper is to explore available research on the overpopulation of the Snow Goose on the North American continent. The snow goose has been rising in population since the middle of the century and has been escalating so much it is destroying their natural habitat. Wildlife managers have just recently begun to implement strategies to combat this problem. Mainly through the use of hunters the managers are trying to curb the population growth. Introduction There are three main species of Snow Goose of primary concern. The Lesser Snow Goose (LSGO) is the must abundant and at the same time most troublesome. Ross' Goose (ROGO) is very similar to the Lesser…show more content…
Hunting of the Greater Snow Goose was banned in the us from 1931-75 (Abraham and Jeffries 1998). Hunting was not allowed to promote population numbers, and once started in 1975 did not have a high harvest. The LSGO and ROGO starting in the middle of the 60's and continually have extended their nesting range south into less extreme climate (Abraham and Jeffries 1998). It has also been suggested that since birds are now living longer the older adults are now leading the less wary young to safer sites and out of hunter's range (Ingstrup 1998). Ingstrup also suggests that the artic may be warming and as Abraham and Jeffries cited there has been shown a correlation between the snow melt and survival of nesting birds and their young. According to Hodge the annual kill by hunters in 1970 neared 40% but in 1994 the rate had dropped to less than 8%. Thus allowing a great deal of the adult population to return to nesting sites in the spring. Impact on habitat The snow geese still nest in a primarily salt marsh environment. The geese have a detrimental feeding behavior in which they pull up the marsh grass by the roots. This behavior is know as grubbing and when done in mass quantities can destroy whole marshes for decades. A project known as the "Hudson Bay Project: Ecosystem Studies and Conservation of Coastal Arctic Tundra" has done extensive research onto

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