Arctic foxes, lemmings, and canada goose nest survival at cape Churchill, Manitoba

Wilson Journal of Ornithology
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Abstract

We examined factors influencing Canada Goose (Branta canadensis interior) annual nest success, including the relative abundance of collared lemmings (Dicrostonyx richardsoni), arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) den occupancy, nest density, and spring phenology using data collected during annual Canada Goose breeding area surveys at Cape Churchill, Manitoba. Nest density and arctic fox den occupancy strongly influenced Canada Goose nest success. High nest density resulted in higher nest success and high den occupancy reduced nest success. Nest success was not influenced by lemming abundance in the current or previous year as predicted by the "bird-lemming" hypothesis. Reducing arctic fox abundance through targeted management increased nest survival of Canada Geese; a result that further emphasizes the importance of arctic fox as nest predators in this system. The spatial distribution of nest predators, at least for dispersed-nesting geese, may be most important for nest survival, regardless of the abundance of small mammals in the local ecosystem. Further understanding of the factors influencing the magnitude and variance in arctic fox abundance in this region, and the spatial scale at which these factors are realized, is necessary to fully explain predator-prey-alternative prey dynamics in this system. ?? 2011 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Arctic foxes, lemmings, and canada goose nest survival at cape Churchill, Manitoba
Series title Wilson Journal of Ornithology
DOI 10.1676/10-097.1
Volume 123
Issue 2
Year Published 2011
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Wilson Journal of Ornithology
First page 266
Last page 276