References About Snow Geese and the problem of over abundance

For many environmental issues, there is often a defining document - one so carefully and thoroughly constructed by reputable authors that its contents become the information source for many decisions. Such is the case with the issue of over-abundance of snow geese. The document is called Arctic Ecosystems in Peril (1997). It was produced by the Arctic Goose Habitat Working Group for the Arctic Goose Joint Venture, part of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The Group was chaired by Bruce Batt, Ducks Unlimited Incorporated and included many other scientists from federal, state and provincial governments, universities, Audubon Society and the American Museum of Natural History. Some of these people have been studying snow geese for decades. They brought together their work and that of others into a 120 page, concisely written, six-part report. The report documents the changing size and dynamics of the Mid-continent Population of snow geese and the effects on the landscape. It contains management and evaluation strategies and a series of recommendations.

In a three-part series in North Dakota Outdoors, published by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, Mike Johnson, Migratory Game Bird Management Supervisor, wrote about the Snow Goose population problem. Mr. Johnson is a member of the Working Group. In Part I (August 1996), he wrote about the bird itself - population characteristics, biology and breeding habitat. He summarized the cause of increases in the population. In Part II (September-October 1996), he discussed the history of changes that have been made in hunting regulations and their effects and the arguments that were made and justifications for a list of possible actions to fix the problem. In Part III (March 1997), he thoroughly reviewed the report by the Arctic Goose Working Group and their recommendations.

A summary of the situation surrounding Too Many Snow Geese is available for review. The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) site in New York includes research results from the Hudson Bay Project, an outgrowth of a 20 year research effort on snow geese at La Perouse Bay in Manitoba. A bibliography of over 2,100 titles on goose research is available at the Simon Fraser University site in British Columbia.

In addition, the Council has assisted the FWS in production of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) regarding the Conservation Action. The comment period for the EIS ended in February 2002 and the CFC's official comments are available in pdf. This important document may set the stage for future actions to reduce population size.