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Arctic nesting geese: Alaskan populations

January 1, 1995

North American populations of most goose species have remained stable or have increased in recent decades (USFWS and Canadian Wildlife Service 1986). Some populations, however, have declined or historically have had small numbers of individuals, and thus are of special concern. Individual populations of geese should be maintained to ensure that they provide aesthetic, recreational, and ecological benefits to the nation. Monitoring and management efforts for geese should focus on individual populations to ensure that genetic diversity is maintain (Anderson et al. 1992).

Alaska is the only state with viable breeding populations of arctic geese. Five species (11 subspecies) nest in Alaska, and although these species also breed in arctic regions of Canada or Russia, most geese of the Pacific Flyway originate in Alaska or use Alaskan habitats during migration. Alaskan geese are often hunted for subsistence by Alaskan natives.

While data for some areas are lacking, populations of greater white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons frontalis) and medium-sized Canada geese (Branta canadensis) in interior and northern Alaska appear stable or have increased (King and Derksen 1986). Although only a small number of lesser snow geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens) nest in Alaska, substantial populations occur in Canada and Russia. Populations of Pacific black brant (B. bernicla nigricans), emperor geese (C. canagica), greater white-fronted geese, and cackling Canada geese (B.c. minima) on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (YKD) of western Alaska have declined from their historical numbers and are the focus of special management efforts (USFWS 1989). In addition, populations of tule white-fronted geese (A.a. gambeli), Aleutian Canada geese (B.c. leucopareia), Vancouver Canada Geese (B.c. fulva), and dusky Canada geese (B.c. occidentalis) are of special concern because of their limited geographic distributions and small numbers.

Publication Year 1995
Title Arctic nesting geese: Alaskan populations
Authors Jerry W. Hupp, Robert A. Stehn, Craig R. Ely, Dirk V. Derksen
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 70148556
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center