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Georgia Journal of Science

Abstract

Overabundant populations of resident Canada geese (Branta canadensis) are an increasing source of human-wildlife complaints throughout the species’ range. Many resident geese exploit urban areas, and translocation is one method of reducing nuisance problems associated with resident Canada geese. Translocated geese have similar harvest rates but lower survival rates than nontranslocated geese. To examine relationships between distance moved and the age, sex, and status of geese, we evaluated distances from banding sites to recovery sites for resident geese banded in Georgia, USA, during 2001–2015. We assessed potential differences in movements between rural and urban, and nontranslocated and translocated geese, by examining the distribution of band recoveries spatially. Rural and urban geese traveled similar distances; however, distances traveled by translocated geese were significantly farther than nontranslocated geese, and adults traveled significantly farther than juveniles. Our findings suggest that distances moved by resident geese are most often localized, and harvested birds were mostly recovered in-state.

Acknowledgements

We thank the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division staff who banded geese, the Bird Banding Laboratory of the U. S. Geological Survey for providing banding data, and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia for funding and logistical support.

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