Meet our Volunteers

Fall 2014

Why Band Geese?

banding geese

Mike Shen, Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District intern and Cole Bethel, a DNR volunteer from Park Rapids (pictured in the red hat), assist DNR Wildlife employee, Mark Palm, in leg banding Canada geese at Pine Mt. Lake, Backus this past July.



banding geese

DNR Wildlife employee Tom Stursa bands a goose as Mark Palm gets two more ready.

The Canada goose population is an important resource for Minnesota because we have the highest breeding population in the Mississippi Flyway at more than 250,000 birds. Minnesota hunters harvest more Canada geese than any other state at approximately 200,000 annually.


"Because of this high harvest, the MDNR must keep close track of goose numbers," says Dave Rave, DNR research biologist, Bemidji. "We do this by placing individually numbered aluminum bands on approximately 5,000 geese statewide annually. There is a 1-800 telephone number on each band, so when a banded bird is found or harvested, the number can easily be reported. The MDNR then estimates the harvest rate of geese by dividing the number of geese reported harvested by the total number of geese banded. Banding allows us to examine survival of geese in different parts of the state, and helps us evaluate how the survival of our locally breeding geese is affected by different hunting regulations."