Atlantic Population Canada Goose Survey in the Bag

Written by Mark Koneff
Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Photo of Mark Koneff.We departed Kuujjuaq on the Ungava Bay side of the Peninsula on June 17 and surveyed our way across to Purvirnituq on the Hudson Bay side. During the transit we also surveyed an experimental transect across previously un-surveyed interior regions. The Atlantic Flyway, Canadian Wildlife Service, and US Fish and Wildlife Service are utilizing the 20-year time series of information we now have for this goose population to improve the stratification of the survey. The experimental interior line, as well as several experimental lines in sparsely surveyed areas on the Hudson Bay coastline, will provide data on goose breeding densities in these areas and ensure they are aligned with the appropriate survey strata. Goose breeding densities are considerably higher along much of the Hudson Bay coast than in the interior or along the Ungava Bay. The region from Akulivik south past Purvirnituq and on to Inukjuak is a particularly important breeding area. Habitat conditions at the time of the survey were good; however, spring along the Hudson Bay coast was considerably colder than in the east, causing snow and ice to persist longer. Consistent westerly winds while we were on the Hudson coast caused morning fog and chilly, damp conditions during our brief stay. Despite this, we had decent flying and on June 20 we completed the survey and started home, arriving back in Bangor on June 21. Now the process of data error checking and estimation begins, and final decisions on survey re-stratification must be made. It will be a couple of weeks before final estimates are available to inform hunting regulations decisions.

The Ungava landscape is ripe with glacial features like this esker.

The Ungava landscape is ripe with glacial features like this esker. Photo by M. Koneff, US FWS

High density breeding area south of Purvirnituq, QC.

High density breeding area south of Purvirnituq, QC. Photo by M. Koneff, US FWS

Exposed Pre-cambrian rock of the Canadian Shield south of Inukjuak.

Exposed Pre-cambrian rock of the Canadian Shield south of Inukjuak. Photo by M. Koneff, US FWS

Beautiful falls south of Inukjuak, QC.

Beautiful falls south of Inukjuak, QC. Photo by M. Koneff, US FWS