Greater Snow Goose Population Monitoring

Greater Snow Geese are back at the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, Fall 2015

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 close to 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 regularly publishes 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 figure 1.

Figure 1 : Histogram presenting the number of Greater Snow Geese at Cap Tourmente NWA, Fall 2015
(Data for this graph are available in table form below.)

Histogram presenting the number of Greater Snow Geese at Cap Tourmente NWA
Table 1 : Number of Greater Snow Geese at Cap Tourmente NWA, Fall 2015
DateNumber of Greater Snow Geese observed
September 161,200
September 171,700
September 221,300
September 231,500
September 259,500
September 2628,400
September 2734,000
September 3044,100
October 149,800
October 246,300
October 336,400
October 436,100
October 715,200
October 85,000
October 97,500
October 108,500
October 1123,500
October 1228,500
October 1518,000
October 1612,000
October 1913,800
October 2013,600
October 215,500
October 22-
October 23-
October 24-
October 25-
October 26-

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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 58,000 Greater Snow Geese were counted in 2014.

Figure 2 : Number of Greater Snow Geese at Cap Tourmente NWA for 2012, 2013 and 2014
(Data for this graph are available in table form below)

Number of Greater Snow Geese
Table 2 : Number of Greater Snow Geese at Cap Tourmente NWA for 2012, 2013 and 2014
Date201220132014
September 13-5,600-
September 14-9,000-
September 15-5,300-
September 16--6,300
September 17---
September 18-18,000-
September 19---
September 20-15,000-
September 214,000--
September 224,700-14,800
September 234,50027,000-
September 24--37,600
September 25-40,000-
September 26---
September 27-34,00052,400
September 289,700-50,000
September 29---
September 30-43,500-
October 135,20038,00048,000
October 231,50030,50038,000
October 330,00034,50033,000
October 4-31,00026,500
October 545,00021,00038,500
October 650,00042,000-
October 747,500--
October 829,000-22,500
October 948,50045,80027,000
October 10-41,00029,600
October 11-55,50039,300
October 1235,80045,50041,500
October 1342,50041,00044,000
October 1439,00055,000-
October 15---
October 1650,000--
October 1757,50040,50058,000
October 18-28,20037,000
October 1933,50044,00030,000
October 2039,80034,000-
October 2149,000--
October 2241,50041,00021,000
October 2336,00031,500-
October 24---
October 2536,800--
October 26---
October 27---
October 28---
October 29---
October 30---
October 31---

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