Currently, research is being conducted on migrant and resident Canada geese at Santee National Wildlife Refuge. The migrant population of geese, known as the Southern James Bay Population or SJBP, that winter at the refuge, as well as resident geese that live in and adjacent to the refuge are the focus of this research project. The name Southern James Bay Population is derived from the breeding area used by these birds. The James Bay and its wetlands are located just south of Hudson Bay in northeastern Ontario, Canada. According to the current SJBP Management Plan, which was written by the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway Councils, SJBP geese are the smallest and most southerly breeding population within the Branta canadensis interior subspecies. They migrate through, and winter in both the Atlantic and Mississippi flyways. A portion of the SJBP breeding population winters in South Carolina. This wintering population is considered the southern-most wintering population of SJBP geese. The principal, southern-most, wintering ground used by these birds is on the Santee National Wildlife Refuge near Summerton, South Carolina.
The goal of this research project is to gain a better understanding of the movement patterns and habitat use of these unique migratory Canada geese while they are wintering in South Carolina. Researchers will gather data on movement, habitat use, and home range of SJBP geese as well as resident geese in and adjacent to the Santee National Wildlife Refuge. It is hoped that this research will provide waterfowl managers in South Carolina and the Atlantic Flyway Council with the information they will need to make management decisions that pertain to migrant and resident goose harvest in this area of South Carolina.
To learn more about our research, please visit the links to the left.