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Thread: Slope Snow Geese increasing

  1. #1
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Default Slope Snow Geese increasing

    Just some Gee-Whiz that has no immediate impact on the 2011 season here in AK I thought you might find interesting.

    I'm wrangling helicopters for Conoco out of Alpine. It's a fun job but sadly for me, a seasonal gig. One of my regular customers is a group of USGS bio's doing ongoing, multi-year research in the Colville River Delta (CRD). They came out of the field today and were telling me about their work and being the nature nerd that I am I got them talking about birds. One of their subject species is snow geese, and apparently they are pioneering new nesting areas in the CRD. From the bios' POV this is exciting because they get to directly observe and document something new as it's happening.

    Accroding to their observations, in the past 5 years their numbers in the CRD have about tripled. These are actually Central Flyway birds that traditionally nested from the Mackenzie River Delta to about Kaktovik, but have expanded their range west along the Arctic coast. I asked the lead bio about the possibility of them pioneering new routes south through SC-AK and becoming Pacific Flyway birds. He said "Probably, eventually, but there's no way to predict when". He added that the Snows seen in SC nest on Wrangell Island and are a separate population from the Mackenzie birds.

    I asked if the Snows in the CRD would displace other species like Canada's and White Fronts and he said he was unsure since the Snows are expanding into areas not used by other species.

    Those guys have been out there since the 20th of May and have banded over 10,000 birds of different species, including 5,000 Snow Geese and 2,000 White Fronts. The rest were mostly shorebirds like Sand Pipers, Kitiwakes and Snipe.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    So the tundra killers are running out of food due to their over population and habitat distruction in Canada, and are now moving westward.

    Ever westward searching for more food and room to raise their young.

  3. #3
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    I agree. Over the years, beginning to see more and more snows. Will be interesting to see where they end up in the next three weeks.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    If they need help with population control, all they have to do is give me a call! Me and my Benelli will get the job done!
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
    "Swans are a gift" -DucksandDogs
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    So the tundra killers are running out of food due to their over population and habitat distruction in Canada, and are now moving westward.

    Ever westward searching for more food and room to raise their young.
    I dont find this even slightly suprising. I would guess that within the next 5-10 years we will have just as many as the middle two flyways

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    Member AK375HH's Avatar
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    I've never had one come close enough to shoot...ive only seen them a few times...when do they, if they even do, come to the west side of cook inlet?

  7. #7
    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    The only time I have ever seen them up here was at birchwood shooting range in the spring about 5 years ago. I saw a flock of about 200 birds get up and fly out across the flats. I have never seen any snows since.
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
    "Swans are a gift" -DucksandDogs
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  8. #8

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    I saw about 300 in palmer back in april. I dont think a whole lot of them fly thru here in the fall.

  9. #9
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    Cool info! Thanks for sharing. It is an intersting idea that they are expanding west. We get small groups every once in a while when a storm blows them in off the coast. I've never been out in the field when a flock happend to pass by. Maybe someday...

    Erich

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