Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science


Four hundred rural landowners were interviewed in Day and Marshall counties in South Dakota in 1974 and 1975. These 400 interviews included 200 interviews with landowners living within 6.4 km of the three major summer-fall goose concentration areas and 200 interviews from a random sample of landowners living in the study area. Eighty-six percent of the interviewed landowners indicated that it was a good idea to expand the northeastern South Dakota Canada goose flock from 2,000 to 5,000 birds. Only 6 percent of the landowners had complaints about the geese, despite the fact that 23.5 percent of them had received goose-related crop damage. Percent occurrence of complaints and crop damage was influenced by distance of landowners' property from goose concentration areas. Most landowners who received damage had less than 200 dollars damage in any 1 year or on a 5-year average. Damage and complaints were from geese eating and trampling small grain swaths, geese grazing small grain shoots in the spring, and trespassing hunters. Landowners adjacent to goose concentration areas had a lower tolerance for geese than those farther away, but still retained relatively positive attitudes toward the geese and goose flock expansion. Aerial circling surveys used to estimate numbers of breeding pairs of Canada geese were evaluated in 1974 and 1975. Analysis of variance factors of weeks, wetland units and week by unit interactions were significant (p<.05) in tests on indicated pairs and nests for both years of the study. Counts using the aerial circling survey technique with fixed-wing aircraft were too variable to be reliable. Preliminary investigations indicate that a ground survey of stratified randomly selected plots may provide acceptably accurate and reliable population estimates.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Canada goose
Game bird management -- South Dakota -- Public opinion
Canada goose -- Migration -- North America


Includes bibliographical references (pages 36-38)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only