Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science


. A 2-year study (1974-1975) of a resident Canada goose (Branta canadensis maxima) flock is reported. Twenty-four percent of the artificial nest structures (ANS) available were used by nesting geese. Artificial nesting structures, islands, muskrat houses and peninsulas were used by geese as nesting sites. Mean clutch size of completed nests was 5.14 in 1974 and 5.26 in 1975. Mean clutch size was 5.38 on ANS and 4.89 on NNS for the 2-year study. At least one egg hatched in 87 percent of the 283 nests located during the study. Larger clutches had a higher hatchability. Nest success was greater on ANS than NNS (X2 21.001, P<.Ol, 1 d.f.). The main cause of unsuccessful nests was desertion by the nesting pair. Predation and flooding were not major factors in determining nest success. Overall hatching success was 78 percent of 1414 eggs. Nests on ANS had a higher percent hatchability than nests on NNS. Eggs in 213 nests produced 1003 goslings during the study. Mean initial brood size was 4.75 in 1974 and 4.67 in 1975. The relationship between public versus private ownership of land and nest success was significant(X2 6.030, P<.05, 1 d.f.) in 1974 but not significant in 1975. Discriminant analysis of 18 factors associated with nesting indicated that water depth, number of nests on wetland and density of surrounding cover were the most important variables in determining use or nonuse of an ANS.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Canada goose


Includes bibliographical references (pages 36-37)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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