Greater snow goose population monitoring at Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area

Greater Snow Geese are back at the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, fall 2017

Please note

This year, due to website updates, counts from Greater Snow Goose surveys conducted at Cap Tourmente NWA will not be updated on this page, but will be available on the Environment and Natural Resources in Canada Facebook page.

Since 1978, the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area (NWA) has witnessed a spectacular increase in the Greater Snow Goose population. Indeed, at the beginning of the century, the population was only about 3,000 birds but now there are close to 1 million. The Cap Tourmente NWA was created to ensure this species’ survival. During their biennial journey between the Atlantic coast and the Far North, Greater Snow Geese stop in this area where they feed on American Bulrush rhizomes and also grain in the fields.

At high tide, Greater Snow Geese are sometimes nearer to the shore and more numerous in the fields; observation is thus much easier (tide tables).

The Greater Snow Geese surveys done at Cap Tourmente NWA over the last three falls (Figure 1) show a peak abundance around mid-October. Up to 54,500 Greater Snow Geese were counted in 2016.

Figure 1 : Number of Greater Snow Geese at Cap Tourmente NWA for 2014, 2015 and 2016
(Data for this graph are available in table form below)

Number of Greater Snow Geese
Table 1 : Number of Greater Snow Geese at Cap Tourmente NWA for 2014, 2015 and 2016
Date 2014 2015 2016
September 13 - - -
September 14 - - -
September 15 - - -
September 16 6,300 1,200 -
September 17 - 1,700 -
September 18 - - -
September 19 - - -
September 20 - - 1 000
September 21 - - -
September 22 14,800 1,300 -
September 23 - 1,500 5 200
September 24 37,600 - -
September 25 - 9,500 -
September 26 - 28,400 9 200
September 27 52,400 34,000 -
September 28 50,000 - -
September 29 - - 17 200
September 30 - 44,100 22 200
October 1 48,000 49,800 22 600
October 2 38,000 46,300 35 400
October 3 33,000 36,400 -
October 4 26,500 36,100 -
October 5 38,500 - -
October 6 - - 40 700
October 7 - 15,200 42 100
October 8 22,500 5,000 38 000
October 9 27,000 7,500 45 800
October 10 29,600 8,500 44 500
October 11 39,300 23,500 -
October 12 41,500 28,500 -
October 13 44,000 - 27 700
October 14 - - 18 500
October 15 - 18,000 23 000
October 16 - 12,000 32 900
October 17 58,000 - -
October 18 37,000 - -
October 19 30,000 13,800 31 300
October 20 - 13,600 33 000
October 21 - 5,500 26 000
October 22 21,000 - -
October 23 - - -
October 24 - - -
October 25 - - -
October 26 - - 38 500
October 27 - - 54 500
October 28 - - 48 300
October 29 - - -
October 30 - - -
October 31 - - -
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