Arctic Goose Joint Venture
The Arctic Goose Joint Venture (AGJV) is a conservation partnership established in 1989 between governments, organizations, and conservation groups to coordinate research and monitoring of Arctic, sub-Arctic and boreal nesting goose populations of North America, specifically the cackling goose, Canada goose, emperor goose, greater white-fronted goose, Ross's goose, and snow goose. Executing Arctic research expeditions in collaboration with partners is a primary goal of the venture, so that the logistics of such research can be coordinated efficiently. One of its main activities is to collar geese in Canada, the United States, and other nearby Arctic areas, such as Wrangel Island of Russia.
The venture's "objective is to advance the scientific understanding and the management of North America's geese", and it operates within the framework of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP).
Participants in the project include national and sub-national government agencies and departments in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. In Canada, the national Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment Canada is a participant, as is the Ministry of Natural Resources agency of the government of Ontario and Manitoba Conservation, a department of the government of Manitoba. In Mexico, the Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad and Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources are national participants. In the United States, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Biological Resources Division of the United States Geological Survey are national participants. State-level participants include the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Missouri Department of Conservation, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, North Dakota Game and Fish, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Monitoring of the continental flyways of North America is important for this venture, which also includes participation of U.S. Flyways, and the council for the Atlantic Flyway, Central Flyway, Mississippi Flyway, and Pacific Flyway. Additionally, Ducks Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited Canada, and Ducks Unlimited Mexico (DUMAC) are non-governmental organizations participating in the venture.
Collaring of geese and tracking them is an important aspect of the program. The geese are collared with a coloured band having a stylised three-character code, the first large and vertical, and the other two smaller and horizontal. For records, the vertical character is listed first. The collaring scheme is:
|Canada goose and cackling goose||Orange||Eastern Canadian Arctic|
|Yellow||Western and Central Canadian Arctic|
|Greater white-fronted goose||Red||Alaska and Western Canadian Arctic|
|Blue||Central Canadian Arctic|
|Lesser snow goose/blue goose||Black||Western Canadian Arctic|
|Green||Eastern Canadian Arctic|
|Red||Wrangel Island, Russia; La Perouse Bay, Churchill, Manitoba|
|Yellow||Central Canadian Arctic|
|Ross's goose||Pale blue||Central Canadian Arctic/Quebec|
|Yellow||Eastern Canadian Arctic|
These birds are common in the Pacific and Central flyways, rarely seen in the Atlantic flyway, and sometimes seen in the Mississippi flyway.
In October 1995, the AGJV was advised by a group of 50 scientists during the Arctic Goose Joint Venture Technical Committee and Management Board Meetings "to develop a scientific approach to the problem of habitat degradation" caused by an over-abundant goose population.
As a result of conservation measures prepared under the auspices of the AGJV, the main measure proposed in 1998 was "the implementation of a spring harvest in Québec" for the snow goose, considered "an exceptional measure in North America since the signing of the Migratory Bird Convention Act in 1916", and a liberalisation of hunting regulations for autumn Quebec harvest and United States winter harvests. The snow goose had experienced significant human-induced population increases since the mid-20th century as a result of using farmlands as a source of food, which resulted in improved nutrition and increased reproduction, so that migratory staging areas and breeding grounds were strained to support the growing flocks. Grazing and grubbing by the geese removed vegetation from these areas and changed soil salinity. These actions were recommended to stabilise the snow goose population by 2002, and included doubling the annual harvest to 24% of the population with spring hunts and increased quotas. The first spring hunt since 1916 was held in 1999.
Since 1972, Environment Canada has issued annual licences to hunters in a draw from registrations received for hunting at the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area during most of October. Lure crops have also been planted at Cap Tourmente in order "to reduce the grazing pressure caused by the Greater Snow Goose on the bulrush marsh as well as on the region's farmlands".
- Arctic Goose Joint Venture: Partnership.
- Arctic Goose Joint Venture: Overview.
- Arctic Goose Joint Venture: What We Do.
- Arctic Goose Joint Venture: Meet the Geese.
- Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.
- Environment Canada 2010.
- Bélanger & Lefebvre 2006.
- Canada Gazette 2005: The working groups concluded that the primary causes of the population growth are human-induced. Improved nutrition from agricultural practices and safety in refuges have resulted in increased survival and reproductive rates of snow geese.
- Canada Gazette 2005.
- University of Guelph.
- Batt, Bruce. "Arctic Ecosystems in Peril: Report of the Arctic goose Habitat Working Group". The Migratory Bird Program - Conserving America's Birds. Memphis, Tennessee: United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 2010-12-15.
- Bélanger, Luc; Lefebvre, Josée (2006). Sustainable integrated management of the Greater Snow Goose in Québec: 2005-2010 Action Plan (PDF). Sainte-Foy: Canadian Wildlife Service. ISBN 0-662-49158-0. Retrieved 2010-12-15.
- "Meet the Geese". Arctic Goose Joint Venture. Retrieved 2010-12-15.
- "Overview". Arctic Goose Joint Venture. Retrieved 2010-12-15.
- "Partnership". Arctic Goose Joint Venture. Retrieved 2010-12-15.
- "What We Do". Arctic Goose Joint Venture. Retrieved 2010-12-15.
- "Regulations Amending the Migratory Birds Regulations". Canada Gazette. 22 March 2005. Retrieved 2010-12-15.
- "Registration for the Greater Snow Goose Hunt at Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area". Environment Canada. 24 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
- "What's Good for the Goose?". Canada's Polar Life. University of Guelph. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
- "Arctic Goose Joint Venture". Patuxent Wildlife Research Center of the United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2010-12-15.