After over a decade of fiddle-fooling around the US Fish & Wildlife Service has finalized rules for harvest of Tundra Geese.There is no record of how many acres of fragile Arctic Tundra have been destroyed while the bureaucrats pontificated.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Finalize Light Goose Conservation Rules
“The overabundance of light geese is harming their fragile arctic breeding habitat,” said H. Dale Hall, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The damage to the habitat is, in turn, harming the health of the light geese and other bird species that depend on the tundra habitat. Returning the light goose population to sustainable levels is necessary to protect this delicate habitat, and every species dependent on it.”
During the last few decades, populations of greater and lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese, collectively called “light geese,” have grown to historic highs. The current breeding population of mid-continent light geese likely exceeds 5 million birds, an increase of more than 300 percent since the mid-1970s. Historic numbers of central arctic light geese have denuded portions of their fragile tundra breeding habitat to the point many areas may take decades to recover. The geese are showing lower-than-normal body size and suffering a decrease in gosling survival due to habitat degradation. The deteriorating habitat is also having a negative impact on some local populations of other bird species. For example, the number of semi-palmated sandpiper and red-necked phalarope nests have declined at La Perouse Bay, Manitoba, where habitat has been severely degraded by the geese. Overabundant greater snow geese have also damaged natural marsh habitats and caused agricultural depredations on migration and wintering areas in eastern Canada and Atlantic coast states. Decreasing the light goose population will help ease the pressure on the arctic and migration habitats, improving the health for all its associated wildlife populations, including light geese.