Alaska: Dusky Canada Goose Nesting Enhancement

Linked to five other glacial rivers and their wetlands on the perimeters of the Copper River in south-central Alaska, the Copper River Delta forms the largest continuous wetland on the North Pacific coast. The dusky Canada goose, a sub-species of Canada goose that breeds almost exclusively on the Delta, has become a focus of management concern by the Pacific Flyway Council because of its low population abundance and limited distribution. 

Over the last two decades, DU and its partners have placed more than 200 artificial nest islands on the delta to help increase nesting success for the dusky Canada goose. 

Natural nesting success declined after the 1964 Alaska earthquake, which lowered land elevation and allowed predator access to dusky nests. The artificial nest islands have helped stabilize the dusky goose population because nest success on the islands is almost double that of mainland nests. This population management program has proven so successful that after place 50 nests in 2010, DU and its partners placed an additional 40 nests in 2011 and will install 50 more in 2012.

Partners: Chugach National Forest, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Lynden Transport and Ducks Unlimited