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Evaluation of a clutch-containment method during hatch in geese: Using resident Canada geese as an example

Authors

  • Katherine B. Guerena,

    1. Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, 249 Townsend Hall, Newark, DE 19716, USA
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  • Paul M. Castelli,

    1. New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, Nacote Creek Research Station, 360 N New York Road, Port Republic, NJ 08241, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, 800 Great Creek Road, Oceanville, NJ 08231, USA.
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  • Theodore C. Nichols,

    1. New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, 2201 County Route 631, Woodbine, NJ 08270, USA
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  • Christopher K. Williams

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, 253 Townsend Hall, Newark, DE 19716, USA
    • Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, 253 Townsend Hall, Newark, DE 19716, USA.
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  • Associate Editor: Haukos

Abstract

Disruption associated with nest visits during the hatch period of waterfowl can cause partial abandonment of hatchlings, potentially causing bias in the survival of marked birds. We evaluated the use of a mesh clutch-containment bag to capture and mark entire broods of 151 resident Canada goose (Branta canadensis) nests, prior to hatch, while minimizing observer-caused disruption during brooding. The study was conducted in New Jersey, USA, from April to June 2010. No differences were found in hatch success or the number of hatchlings marked between contained clutches and the control group. Although this technique was not beneficial in studying gosling survival in temperate nesting populations, it may be effective in sub-Arctic nesting conditions where nest visits are conducted using a more invasive approach such as a helicopter. © 2012 The Wildlife Society.

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