The role of predation in nesting success of black brant and lesser snow geese

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: biology, birds, animal behaviour, foraging, reproduction, waterfowl, predators, survivability

Principal Investigator: Armstrong, Terry (8)
Licence Number: 12383
Organization: University of Saskatchewan
Licensed Year(s): 1993 1992 1991
Issued: Jan 01, 1993
Project Team: one field assistant to be determined

Objective(s): To determine the importance of gull and jaeger predation to the nesting success of brant and snow geese at Anderson River; to test the importance of colonial nesting by geese as an antipredator strategy; to determine why snow geese are less susceptible to avian predators; to study the foraging strategies of glaucous gulls that nest amongst the geese at Anderson River. While jaegers may be important predators, their low numbers make it very difficult to collect sufficient data to draw firm conclusions about their behaviour.

Project Description: This ongoing study will involve observing glaucous gulls as they prey on nests of black brant and lesser snow geese. I will attempt to determine why the gulls seem to be more successful when attacking the nests of brant than those of snow geese. I will examine the feeding behaviour of the gulls and the defense behaviour of the geese. I will also examine the nesting success and clutch sizes of brant and snow geese.