Great Basin Naturalist


At Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge, only 18 to 34 Canada Goose goslings were fledged per year from 1989 to 1993. In addition to the number of breeding pairs, a wide variety of variables can influence goose production, including clutch size, and nest, egg, and fledging success. We examined these variables at Fish Springs in 1996 and 1997 by finding and monitoring nests, and then following broods. We found that despite a limited number of breeding pairs on the refuge, production was further limited by poor ground nest success and low fledging success. Only 51.2% (n = 22) of ground nests produced hatchlings vs. 86.4% (n = 19) of platform nests. Of all eggs that hatched, 36.8% (n = 57) fledged successfully. Predation and human disturbance are discussed as major factors contributing to mortality.