Survival and Recovery of Normal Wild vs. Relocated Adult Resident Canada Geese in Georgia, 2000-2009

Georgia's growing resident (non-migratory) Canada goose (Branta canadensis) population often causes nuisance problems in urban areas. One method of reducing nuisance goose problems is capture and relocation, especially if geese are relocated to rural areas where hunting may occur. To determine if relocated geese have different survival or band recovery rates than normal wild geese, I estimated probabilities of survival and recovery for adult, resident Canada geese between 2000 and 2009 using banding and dead recovery data from normal wild geese and from relocated geese in Georgia. Survival and recovery varied by group and time. Average annual adult survival rates were higher for normal wild geese (xˉ = 0.759, SE = 0.028, n = 10) than for relocated geese (xˉ = 0.624, SE = 0.032, n = 10). Recovery rates for normal wild geese (xˉ = 0.084 SE = 0.004, n = 10) were very similar to relocated geese (xˉ = 0.082, SE = 0.004, n = 10). These data indicate that relocated geese have similar harvest rates and lower survival rates than normal wild geese which could reduce the number of nuisance birds returning to problem areas.

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