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Satellite Tracking

Why did animal X stop transmitting?

Skagit Valley / Wrangel Island Snow Goose

A project of Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.

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NameSpeciesLife StageRelease DateLast LocationDays Transmitted
Adult Female LSSG 127446 Snow Goose, Blue GooseAdult2013-02-272018-04-221880
Adult Female LSSG 127447 Snow Goose, Blue GooseAdult2013-02-262018-04-221881
Adult Female LSSG 127448 Snow Goose, Blue GooseAdult2013-02-262013-10-22238
Adult Female LSSG 127449 Snow Goose, Blue GooseAdult2013-02-272013-08-03157
Adult Female LSSG 127450 Snow Goose, Blue GooseAdult2013-02-282018-04-221879
Adult Female LSSG 127452 Snow Goose, Blue GooseAdult2013-02-282014-05-08434
Adult Female LSSG 127454 Snow Goose, Blue GooseAdult2013-03-012014-06-07463

Click on an animal's name for maps and more information.


The Northern Puget Sound (NPS) wintering population of lesser snow geese occurs in the Skagit and Fraser Deltas along the western border between the United States and Canada. This population of snow geese have traditionally used very discrete estuary and agricultural habitats associated with Skagit and Port Susan Bays.

The breeding grounds of this population are on Wrangel Island, Russia. Because Wrangel Island snow geese represent the last major snow goose population breeding in Asia, and the primary Russian goose population that winters in North America, it is a high priority for the Pacific Flyway and the subject of long standing international cooperative management and conservation. Data collected since the early 1970s on Wrangel Island indicates that the population has grown in abundance, become younger, and changed its behavior relative to traditional habitat and resources. These population changes have become more apparent since the early 1990s and appear to be in response to warmer spring conditions, earlier snowmelt, and changes in the predator community on Wrangel Island. Some of these changes are also evident in the NPS wintering population where the total overwintering population size has increased.

The objectives of this project are to examine the current relationship of the NPS population to other Pacific flyway use areas. This will include documentation of migration routes, phenology, staging areas, and stopover locations throughout the flyway. Particular questions that we hope to answer include:

- When do geese depart and return to NPS during spring and fall migration?

- Where are important flyway use areas during migration?

- When and how long do geese use areas along migration routes?

- Document inter and/or intra-year interchange among NPS and other wintering areas.

- Do some geese that use NPS move to other locations within the flyway during the same winter or among different years?

- If NPS geese are moving to other locations, what is the timing of emigration and potential return to NPS?

The transmitters are programed to transmit for three years.


WDFW Biologist Roozen and Technicians Anderson, Deyo, and Otto were instrumental in the successful snow goose captures - without their untiring efforts and perseverance through poor weather conditions, deployment of the full sample of transmitters would not have been possible. We are especially grateful to Dr. Scott Ford of Avian Specialty Veterinary Services for his expertise and exceptional work with the transmitter implant procedures, and to WDFW Technician Deyo and Vet-Tech Yana Podobedova who assisted Dr. Ford with many of the procedures. We are also indebted to WDFW Waterfowl Section Manager Kraege for his support for this project; it is because of his efforts that project was able to take flight. We are grateful to the WDFW staff at the Skagit Wildlife Area for their continued support during our capture efforts. We would like to thank M. Axelson for caring for one of the geese that was unable to fly immediately after the capture - this goose quickly recovered and was able to take flight. Vasiliy Baranyuk provided flock sighting information which assisted us in determining where to focus capture efforts. We are also extremely grateful to the many landowners who were gracious in granting access to their lands.

Project PI's-

Joe Evenson - WDFW Waterfowl Survey and Sea Duck Specialist

Chris Danilson - WDFW District Biologist

  • The presentation of data here does not constitute publication. All data remain copyright of the project partners. Maps or data on this website may not be used or referenced without explicit written consent.
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