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Banding Together: MuscatatuckNational Wildlife Refuge andYouth Conservation Corps Band Together with Indiana Department of Natural Resources to Better Understand Canada Goose Population
Midwest Region, June 26, 2014
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Goose Banding crew hot and tired but happy after a long succesful day of banding in Southern Indiana
Goose Banding crew hot and tired but happy after a long succesful day of banding in Southern Indiana - Photo Credit: Knowles/USFWS
Geese round up into the funnel trap prior to banding - the geese aren't sure
Geese round up into the funnel trap prior to banding - the geese aren't sure "what's up" but the banding team is glad to have them in the trap - Photo Credit: Knowles/USFWS
Muscatatuck intern Meta Griffin holding a goose prior to banding and data collection.
Muscatatuck intern Meta Griffin holding a goose prior to banding and data collection. - Photo Credit: Knowles/USFWS

On June 19, 2014 five Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge interns, four Youth Conservation Corp students, and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Biologist Susan Knowles helped band geese at three sites in Clark and Floyd Counties. They assisted State Waterfowl Biologist Phelps, along with six Indiana Department of Natural Resources biologists, staff and volunteers to team up and band 358 geese and process 262 recaptures. This effort gave Muscatatuck Refuge interns a wonderful field experience and really helped the Indiana Department of Natural Resources be successful with the banding efforts. 620 geese were handled making it a very successful day of banding. The volunteer/interns and YCC crew had a fantastic experience and they learned a lot about waterfowl banding and they proudly showed everyone their badge of honors - goose bites, sore muscles, hot and dirty work, etc.

The banding program carried out by the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife is a cooperative effort between the state, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey through the Bird Banding Laboratory. Some objectives of banding are to learn about production of young, to map the distribution and timing of the harvest and to calculate survival and recovery rates. Banding typically takes place the last two weeks in June at a time when adults molt their flight feathers and cannot fly and the goslings are not yet able to fly. Birds are driven with boats and people walking them into a funnel trap. The sex of each bird is determined and birds are classified into one of two age classes – gosling (local) or adult - before a band is put on one leg and then they are released.

Band information is critical to the management of bird populations, and assists biologists in providing optimum hunting opportunities. Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife has a set goal of banding 2000 Canada geese each June. The bands allow biologist to track migration movements of geese. They also help to determine lifespan. Knowing migration movements can help biologists determine hunting season dates and zones.

Hunters are asked to call a 24-hour toll-free hotline:
1-800-327-BAND
(1-800-327-2263)
or online at: www.reportband.gov


Contact Info: Susan Knowles, (812) 522-4352, Susan_Knowles@fws.gov



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