Harvest demographics of temperate-breeding Canada geese in South Dakota, 1967-1995

Jeffrey S. Gleason, Jonathan A. Jenks, David E. Naugle, Paul W. Mammenga, Spencer J. Vaa, J. M.Jennifer M. Pritchett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In South Dakota, breeding giant Canada geese (Branta canadensis maxima) have increased substantially, and harvest management strategies have been implemented to maximize hunting opportunity (e.g., special early-September seasons) on local, as well as molt-migrant giant Canada geese (B. c. interior) while still protecting lesser abundant Arcticbreeding Canada geese and cackling geese (e.g., B. hutchinsii, B. minima). Information on important parameters, such as survival and recovery rates, are generally lacking for giant Canada geese in the northern Great Plains. Patterns in Canada goose band recoveries can provide insight into the distribution, chronology, and harvest pressures to which a given goose population segment is exposed. We studied spatial and temporal recovery patterns of molting Canada geese during annual banding efforts in South Dakota between 1967 and 1995. Recovery rates (% ± SE) for Canada geese increased over time in both western South Dakota (0.034 ± 0.005 [1967 to 1976], 0.056 ± 0.009 [1977 to 1986]) and eastern (0.026 ± 0.002 [1967 to 1978], 0.058 ± 0.003 [1987 to 1995]) South Dakota. Although recovery rates for Canada geese west of the Missouri River (WR) and east of the Missouri River (ER) were relatively similar, recovery distribution and harvest chronology indicate spatial and temporal differences for geese banded in these 2 geographic regions. Overall, Canada geese banded in South Dakota were recovered in 23 states and 5 Canadian provinces, and recovery distribution varied relative to banding region. Distribution of recoveries suggests a south-southwesterly movement for WR-banded geese compared to a south-southeasterly movement for ERbanded geese. For WR-banded geese, 40 to 52% and 30 to 34% of direct and indirect recoveries, respectively, occurred in December. In contrast, for ER-banded geese, 19 to 38% and 15 to 19% of direct and indirect recoveries, respectively, occurred in December. Waterfowl managers need to consider that recovery rates and harvest chronology of banded giant Canada geese may vary geographically within a state or province. Refinement of harvest management strategies at multiple spatial scales may be required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-35
Number of pages22
JournalHuman-Wildlife Interactions
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Branta canadensis maxima
  • Canada geese
  • Distribution
  • Harvest chronology
  • Human-wildlife conflicts
  • Recoveries
  • Recovery rate
  • South dakota
  • Status


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