Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science


A study of giant Canada geese (Branta canadensis maxima) nesting on stockponds in western South Dakota was conducted during 1974 and 1975. Analysis of 10 selected variables at nests on natural sites indicated that distance of water below high water level and percent slope from wetland to horizon, contributed the most to the use of the site. Distance from wetland to horizon and disturbance factors were two important variables measured to determine use of artificial nesting structures. First nests were initiated on 1 April 1974 and 8 April 1975. Twenty-five nests (16 percent) were located on artificial nesting structures, and 134 (84 percent) were on natural nest sites. Eggs in 57 percent of all nests hatched. Mammalian predators destroyed the eggs in 44 (72 percent) of the nests lost. Gosling mortality between hatching and flight was estimated to be 16 percent. Marked geese began moving to staging sites on the study area during August each year. Migration then began in September but some geese remained on the study area until November. Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge was one of the wintering locations for the flock both years. A movement of the non-breeding portion of the flock is believed to occur prior to their annual molt.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Canada goose -- Nests
Canada goose -- Eggs
Ponds --South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 35-36)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only