Changes in distribution of Canada geese nesting in Arkansas

Human-Wildlife Interactions
By:  and 



The reintroduced Canada goose (Branta canadensis) population in Arkansas has grown in range and abundance in recent decades. We determined the geographic range of Arkansas resident Canada geese from 2004 to 2012 using volume contour maps from citizen science observations using eBird, a citizen science website, and hunter recovery locations from the U.S. Geological Survey Bird Banding Laboratory. Resulting maps indicate an increase in Canada goose encounters toward northwestern and southwestern Arkansas from the original relocations in the Arkansas River valley. We examined movement of Canada geese banded and recovered in Arkansas by determining the distance and angle of movement between initial and final encounter locations; 25% moved east, and 17% went west. The average distance moved from banding to recovery was 50 km (SE = 1 km). Recoveries of Canada geese banded in Arkansas were greatest in the Mississippi Flyway (58% of all geese) followed by the Central Flyway (37%) with some representation in both the Atlantic (4%) and Pacific flyways (0.9%). Movement from Arkansas to other states and Canada was influenced by goose age and sex. Older individuals traveled longer distances than younger ones, and females traveled longer distances than males. Our findings suggest that recently established Canada geese in Arkansas have slowly expanded within the state to the northwest and southwest with the expansion to the east being important now. Movement of Arkansas resident Canada geese on molt-migration can contribute to management issues in other states and provinces.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Changes in distribution of Canada geese nesting in Arkansas
Series title Human-Wildlife Interactions
Volume 9
Issue 1
Year Published 2015
Language English
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 8 p.
First page 101
Last page 109
Country United States
State Arkansas
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N