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The rise and fall of New Jersey’s Canada geese


Cara J

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While researchers have long followed the rapid increase and decline of New Jersey’s resident Canada geese populations, recent research looking at data from the last few decades has been able to quantify these fluctuations. Migratory goose numbers declined significantly at the turn of the 20th century, causing managers to launch efforts to increase the state’s resident populations as early as the 1930s and into the ‘40s. Those efforts included translocating the birds as well as increasing the number of lawns to attract the birds. It paid off: The Canada goose population quickly increased; and, in recent decades, the populations have reached unprecedented levels, resulting in an increase in vehicle collisions and other human-wildlife conflicts. “In the early 1990s there were 29,000 Canada geese in New Jersey,” said Christopher Williams, a professor at the University of Delaware and a TWS member. “By the early 2000s, it was estimated about 106,000 birds. It really went through the roof.” In response, managers implemented management measures to control burgeoning populations, and by 2014, the population was down to 77,000 geese, Williams says. In an effort to better understand these changes in population numbers, Williams recently co-authored a study — published in the Journal of [...]

 

Read more: http://wildlife.org/the-rise-and-fall-of-new-jerseys-canada-geese/

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