Midwinter inventories of total numbers, population-age ratios in the autumn, and estimates of the total numbers of and age ratios in hunter-killed birds were used to develop a population budget for Atlantic Brant - Lightbellied Brent Geese - Branta bernicla hrota for the period 1968-84. Substantial fluctuations in productivity and survival occurred even in the absence of hunting seasons for 9 of the 17 years. Annual survival estimates ranged from 0.41 to 0.97 for birds> I year of age; mean annual survival for the 17-year period was 0.77, little different from an estimate of 0.78 recently obtained from ringing records. This summary confirms high adult survival for Atlantic Brant as in other long-lived birds with delayed sexual maturity and irregulur breeding failure. The combinution of these factors results in unequal age-cohort representation from year to year. Population size alone, therefore. is not an indicator of population resilience. Proper management should aim to maintain Atlantic Brant at a level sufficient to rebound from sequential breeding and wintering failure. We propose management by age-cohort as the best scheme for tbese geese.
Additional publication details
Population dynamics of North American light-bellied brent geese as determined by productivity and harvest surveys