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Funding Support from the Arctic Goose Joint Venture for USGS Snow Goose and Black Brant Research

snow geese flying - photo by Craig Ely, USGSThe Arctic Goose Joint Venture is a multi-agency partnership established under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan to further the scientific understanding and the management of North America’s geese.  In 2014, the Arctic Goose Joint Venture offered matching funding to on-going projects addressing questions related to overabundant Snow Geese in North America and particularly those that examined impacts of Snow Geese to other species.  USGS Changing Arctic Ecosystems research demographic processes of Snow Geese and Black Brant on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska was selected for support by the Arctic Goose Joint Venture in 2015.

Snow Geese are the most rapidly increasing species of waterbird on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska and management agencies are concerned that they may outcompete Black Brant for nesting and brood rearing habitat.  Experience with Snow Geese elsewhere in North America has demonstrated the importance of managing their populations before they become overabundant. Rapidly increasing Snow Goose populations may cause considerable damage of vegetation in nesting areas.  Furthermore, within the Pacific Flyway there is special concern regarding the population status of Black Brant, which for the past three decades have remained near or below management goals.  Given that populations of Black Brant are also expanding on the Arctic Coastal Plain, but in decline in western Alaska, the continued productivity of northern colonies is important to the overall population. 

USGS Changing Arctic Ecosystems research will provide management agencies in the Arctic Goose Joint Venture with needed information to contrast demographic processes of Snow Geese and Brant on the Arctic Coastal Plain.

To learn more about research on Arctic geese within the USGS Changing Arctic Ecosystems initiative, click here: http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2014/3088/

 

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