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Canada geese (Branta canadensis) have been managed largely as a migratory resource. In the 1960's, Canada goose flocks were restored to historic breeding ranges in the United States and southern Canada to enhance recreational opportunity for observation and harvest. These populations of southern breeding geese have rapidly expanded, increasing conflicts with social and economic interests and causing the Midwinter Waterfowl Survey to be less effective as a management tool to monitor migrant populations. Wildlife agencies need methods to control local, southern breeding geese that reduce conflicts while providing adequate protection to populations of northern breeding geese. New techniques have been developed using mark-resight data from neck-banded geese to estimate distribution and population size during the late summer, fall, and mid-winter. Survival and movement rates can be estimated over special early or late hunting seasons, traditional fall-winter hunting season, and nonharvest periods. Direct recovery rates can be estimated for special and traditional harvest periods and these recovery rates can be related to survival and movement rates. Changes in harvest regulations can be related to changes in recovery, survival, and movement rates for specific cohorts of Canada geese. These techniques can be used to monitor population status and determine more appropriate harvest strategies.
Additional Publication Details
Estimating population parameters for northern and southern breeding populations of Canada geese