Canada geese in North America

By: , and 
Edited by: Edward T. LaRoeGaye S. FarrisCatherine E. PuckettPeter D. Doran, and Michael J. Mac



Canada geese (Branta canadensis) are probably more abundant now than at any time in history. They rank first among wildlife watchers and second among harvests of waterfowl species in North America. Canada geese are also the most widely distributed and phenotypically (visible characteristics of the birds) variable species of bird in North America. Breeding populations now exist in every province and territory of Canada and in 49 of the 50 United States. The size of the 12 recognized subspecies range from 1.4 kg (3-lb) cackling Canada goose (B.c. minima) to the 5.0 kg (11-lb) giant Canada goose (B.c. maxima; Delacour 1954; Bellrose 1976).

Market hunting and poor stewardship led to record low numbers of geese in the early 1900's, but regulated seasons including closures, refuges, and law enforcement led to restoration of most populations. Winter surveys were begun to study population trends and set responsible harvest regulations for these long-lived and diverse birds. Winter surveys begun in 1936-37 probably represent the oldest continuing index of migratory birds in North America.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Canada geese in North America
Year Published 1995
Language English
Publisher National Biological Service
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Description 3 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Our living resources: A report to the nation on the distribution, abundance, and health of U.S. plants, animals, and ecosystems
First page 26
Last page 28
Other Geospatial North America
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details