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Greater Snow Goose Population Monitoring

Greater Snow Geese are back at the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, Fall 2013

Since 1978, the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area (NWA) has witnessed a spectacular increase in the Greater Snow Goose population. Indeed, at the beginning of the century, the population was only about 3 000 birds but now there are more than 1 million. The Cap Tourmente NWA was created to ensure this species’ survival. During their biennial journey between the Atlantic coast and the Far North, Greater Snow Geese stop in this area where they feed on American Bulrush rhizomes and also grain in the fields.

The Canadian Wildlife Service publishes regularly a graph illustrating the number of Greater Snow Geese in the Cap Tourmente NWA for the duration of their fall stay. Counts from Greater Snow Goose surveys conducted at Cap Tourmente NWA this year are available in graph 1. 

Graph 1 : Histogram presenting the number of Greater Snow Geese
at Cap Tourmente NWA , Fall 2013
(Data for this graph are available in table form below)

Graph 1 : Histogram presenting the number of Greater Snow Geese at Cap Tourmente NWA , Fall 2013

Table 1 : Number of Greater Snow Geese
at Cap Tourmente NWA , Fall 2013
DateNumber of Greater Snow Geese observed
September 135600
September 149000
September 155300
September 1818000
September 2015000
September 2327000
September 2540000
September 2734000
September 3043500
October 138000
October 230500
October 334500
October 431000
October 521000
October 642000
October 945800
October 1041000
October 1155500
October 1245500
October 1341000
October 1455000
October 1740500
October 1828200
October 1944000
October 2034000
October 2241000
October 2331500

At high tide, Greater Snow Geese are sometimes nearer to the shore and more numerous in the fields; observation is thus much easier (tide tables).

The Greater Snow Geese surveys done at Cap Tourmente NWA over the last three falls show a peak abundance around mid-October.  Up to 66 500 Greater Snow Geese were counted in 2010.

Graph 2 : Number of Greater Snow Geese
at Cap Tourmente NWA for 2010, 2011 and 2012
(Data for this graph are available in table form below)

Graph 2 : Number of Greater Snow Geese

Table 2 : Number of Greater Snow Geese
at Cap Tourmente NWA for 2010, 2011 and 2012
Date201020112012
September 18 1 200 
September 19   
September 20   
September 21  4 000
September 22  4 700
September 23 6 3004 500
September 24 8 100 
September 25   
September 2612 650  
September 27   
September 28 13 3009 700
September 1925 00017 700 
September 30 32 600 
October 1st37 00034 30035 200
October 2  31 500
October 329 50033 30030 000
October 426 50043 500 
October 527 500 45 000
October 6 54 00050 000
October 7 52 50047 500
October 832 00027 80029 000
October 963 0008 40048 500
October 1066 50018 400 
October 11 21 900 
October 1263 00033 50035 800
October 1346 00023 00042 500
October 1445 70019 30039 000
October 1532 5006 500 
October 1635 00019 30050 000
October 17 33 30057 500
October 1846 00027 500 
October 1958 50025 60033 500
October 2037 00028 00039 800
October 2143 50015 70049 000
October 2239 000 41 500
October 2344 50031 50036 000
October 2444 50031 500 
October 2538 50015 00036 800
October 2634 000  
October 2728 000  
October 2842 00016 000 
October 2942 00014 100 
October 30 16 200 
October 3131 200