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Too Many Geese

In recent years waterfowl managers have become increasingly concerned about the size of snow goose populations.

About three-fourths of North Dakota's annual goose harvest is snow geese, and our waterfowlers take from one-third to one-half of the more than 200,000 snow geese harvested in the Central Flyway each year. Across the continent, U.S. and Canadian hunters annually take about half a million snow geese.

Despite this seemingly heavy harvest, snow goose numbers have increased steadily.

Large waterfowl populations have been the goal of managers, hunters and other users since the earliest management efforts began. It would seem desirable to have a snow goose population growing at a high rate.

However, in the past 10-15 years, serious problems have developed. It is clear this ever-growing population is heading toward a major ecological disaster, which may include extensive areas of fragile arctic breeding habitat and affect all wildlife that depends on these same areas.

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