Resident Canada geese (Branta canadensis) nest or reside in the temperate latitudes of North America. In past years, translocation-the capture and subsequent release of geese at distant locations-has been used to establish resident goose populations and to reduce nuisance problems. However, with new special hunting seasons designed to target resident Canada geese, we can now evaluate translocation as a management tool when hunting is allowed at release sites. We selected 2 study sites, representative of urban and suburban locations with nuisance resident geese, in central and western New York, USA. In June 2003, we translocated 80 neck-banded adult geese, 14 radiomarked adult females, and 83 juveniles 150 km east and southwest from urban and suburban problem sites in western New York to state-owned Wildlife Management Areas. At these same capture sites, we used 151 neck-banded adult geese, 12 radiomarked females, and 100 juveniles as controls to compare dispersal movements and harvest vulnerability to translocated geese. All observations (n = 45) of translocated radiomarked geese were <20 km from release sites, in areas where hunting was permitted. Only 25 of 538 observations (4.6%) of radiomarked geese at control sites were in areas open to hunting. The remainder of observations occurred at nonhunting locations within 10 km of control sites. More translocated adult geese (23.8%) were harvested than control geese (6.6%; ??2 = 72.98, P = 0.0009). More translocated juvenile geese were harvested (22.9%) than juvenile controls (5.0%; ??2 = 72.30, P = 0.0005). Only 7 (8.8%) translocated adult geese returned to the original capture sites during Canada goose hunting seasons. Translocation of adult and juvenile geese in family groups may alleviate nuisance problems at conflict sites through increased harvest, reducing the number of birds returning in subsequent years.
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Can hunting of translocated nuisance Canada geese reduce local conflicts?