Finished with the Ungava Bay Side

Written by Mark Koneff
Saturday, June 16, 2012

Photo of Mark Koneff.Today we finished up surveying the eastern portion of the Atlantic Population Canada Goose survey area on the Ungava Peninsula, Quebec. Habitat conditions across the east were good and geese were well distributed on breeding territories. Groups of geese were observed in southern portions of the survey area. These birds are believed to be molt-migrant resident geese from the U.S. Ice and snow were a bit more persistent (as usual) in the northeastern part of the survey area around Quataq. Interesting observations today near Quataq were several muskox and 3 beluga whales offshore. The observation of muskox was the furthest north ever during this survey. Muskox were released from captivity in Kuujjuaq in the 1980s and their population has expanded on the Ungava, so much so that a limited hunt is now allowed. Storms now prevent us from moving to the west side (Hudson Bay) of the peninsula to continue the survey, so we are back in Kuujjuaq. Next we’ll survey across the peninsula and move our “home base” to Purvirnituq on the shore of the Hudson Bay. The survey gets more interesting at that point, as goose densities are much greater on the Hudson Bay side of the survey area than on the Ungava Bay side.

Tundra along the Ungava coast at Kangirsuk, QC.

Tundra along the Ungava coast at Kangirsuk, QC. Photo by M. Koneff, US FWS

More snow and ice in the northern portion of the survey area, as usual, but geese distributed on breeding territories.

More snow and ice in the northern portion of the survey area, as usual, but geese distributed on breeding territories. Photo by M. Koneff, US FWS

Stark landscape near Quataq, QC.

Stark landscape near Quataq, QC. Photo by M. Koneff, US FWS

Ungava Bay south of Quataq, QC.

Ungava Bay south of Quataq, QC. Photo by M. Koneff, US FWS