Author

John Tautin

Date of Award:

1976

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Wildland Resources

Advisor/Chair:

Jessop B. Low

Abstract

A twenty-one year (1952-72) accumulation of banding data for Canada geese in Utah was studied to determine the distribution and chronology of the harvest of the geese and the effects that hunting regulations have had upon harvests and population parameters. The banding data were also used in an attempt to develop a population model capable of predicting population trends and desirable survival rates.

Within Utah, the bulk of the annual harvest (78 percent) takes place in the northern portion of the State in the vicinity of the Great Salt Lake marshes. In Northern Utah the harvest peaks on the opening weekend, and approximately 50 percent of the annual harvest takes place by day 21 of an average hunting season of 82 days. Most of the harvest in Northern Utah is made up of geese produced in Utah. Peak harvests in Southern Utah do not occur until well into the average season, and non- Utah produced geese comprise a larger proportion of the harvest in Southern Utah than in Northern Utah. The harvest in Eastern Utah appears to be largely dependent on geese produced outside of the State.

Outside Utah, harvests of Utah produced Canada geese have increased. Prior to 1950, over 80 percent of the recoveries of Utah-banded geese were made in Utah. The percentage steadily declined to less than 50 during the early 1970s.

Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that only one hunting regulation, the daily bag limit, had a statistically significant relationship with estimates of annual harvests and band recovery rates . No regulations had statistically significant relationships with estimates of annual survival rates. Annual estimates of band recovery rates declined significantly during the period 1952-72, but estimates of annual survival rates for the same period showed no significant trend and were comparable to pre-1950 estimates.

The attempt to formulate a population model was a failure. This was due in part to calculation errors associated with critical input to the model. However, the failure was largely due to the lack of a theoretically sound foundation.

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