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Numbers of giant Canada geese (Branta canadensis maxima), greater snow geese (Chen caerulescens atlantica), and lesser snow geese (C. c. caerulescens) have increased dramatically during the past 30 years. Now, these geese are causing serious ecological and/or economic problems on breeding and/or wintering areas. Attempts to control their burgeoning numbers via increased harvest have had little effect. Thus, I propose that creative, new approaches to increase harvests must be made available to managers. The prohibition against hunting during 11 March-31 August and the 3.5 month (107 day) limit on waterfowl seasons should be removed from the Migratory Bird Convention, and sale of migratory birds should be legalized and controlled by regulation. Further, currently banned but effective hunting techniques, e.g., electronic calls, live decoys, etc., should be legalized and controlled by regulation. Management practices on U.S. National Wildlife Refuges (NWR), e.g., planting food, that concentrate snow geese and thereby reduce harvests, should be discontinued. Waterfowl managers have successfully managed to prevent overharvest of geese for many years; now it is time for them to manage overpopulations of geese.
The Journal of Wildlife Management © 1996 Wiley