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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Charles D. Dieter


South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks annually spends over 500,000 dollars dealing with crop damage caused by flightless Canada geese (Branta canadensis). An effective crop deterrent to Canada geese would be important to game managers in eastern South Dakota. In 2011 and 2012, I evaluated the effectiveness of Rejex-It Migrate Turfguard®, Bird Shield®, Avian Control®, and Avipel® as Canada goose grazing deterrents. I applied these sprays on test plots in soybean (Glycine max) fields throughout Day County, South Dakota. Electric fences were placed around test plots. Once use by Canada geese had been established, sites were immediately sprayed and monitored using time lapse cameras. Sites were sprayed every 7 days and cameras were checked every 4 days. In 2011, I used 10 spray sites (5 Rejex-It® & 5 Bird Shield®). Both sprays were ineffective at reducing crop damage by geese. With both sprays, goose usage increased after application. The increase was significant for both Rejex-It® (180 min/day pre spray/313 min/day post spray) (F=5.24, df=1,38, p=0.0131) and Bird Shield® (200 min/day pre spray/299 min/day post spray) (F=4.03, df=1,38, p=0.0331). In 2012, I had 12 study sites (8 Avipel® & 4 Avian Control®). Avian Control® was ineffective at deterring crop damage by geese. Geese spent a similar amount of time on treated (111 min/day) and control sites (104 min/day) (F=1.29, df=1,31, p=0.9862). On all sites where Avipel® was applied, it was evident that the chemical effectively deterred geese from feeding on soybeans. Geese spent more time feeding on control sites (132 min/day) than on treated sites (44 min/day) (F=64.08, df=1,196, p=p=<0.0001). There was significantly more crop damage on control sites than treatment sites where Avipel® was applied (Χ2=199.6, 3 df, p=<0.0001). During my research, Avipel® was the only treatment that reduced Canada goose depredation on soybean fields. Additional field trials should be completed on Avipel® treatment protocol to identify ideal use to reduce crop damage by Canada geese in eastern South Dakota.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Canada goose--South Dakota
Bird pests--South Dakota
Spraying and dusting in agriculture


Includes bibliographical references (pages 59-62).



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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