Snow geese

Biological Science Report 2002-0001-9
By: , and 
Edited by: David C. DouglasPatricia E. Reynolds, and E. B. Rhode



Part of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, is used as an autumn staging area by lesser snow geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens) from the Western Canadian Arctic population (hereafter called the Western Arctic population). There were approximately 200,000 breeding adults in the Western Arctic population through the mid-1980s (Johnson and Herter 1989), but the population has recently increased to about 500,000 breeding adults (Kerbes et al. 1999).

Early in their autumn migration, adult and juvenile snow geese from the Western Arctic population feed intensively while staging on the Beaufort Sea coastal plain in Canada and Alaska to build fat reserves needed for migration. Aerial censuses from 1973 to 1985 indicated that up to 600,000 adult and juvenile snow geese used the coastal plain for 2-4 weeks in late August until mid-September (Oates et al. 1987).

We studied annual variation in numbers and spatial distribution of snow geese that staged on the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Title Snow geese
Series title Biological Science Report
Series number 2002-0001
Chapter 9
Year Published 2002
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 4 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype Federal Government Series
Larger Work Title Arctic Refuge coastal plain terrestrial wildlife research summaries (Biological Science Report USGS/BRD/BSR-2002-0001)
First page 71
Last page 74
Country Canada, United States
State Alaska, Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory
Other Geospatial Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
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Additional publication details