Delta Nesting Waterfowl Survey
Annual assessment of nesting populations
of geese on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (YKD) provides information for biologists,
participants in cooperative goose management plans, and Pacific Flyway technical
committees. A ground-based sampling procedure has been used since 1986 to estimate
the number of total nests, active nests, and eggs for cackling geese, emperor
geese, greater white-fronted geese, and spectacled eiders. Annual information
on the size of the nesting population and potential number of young produced contributes
long term data needed to understand goose and eider population ecology and better
manage these species.
Biologists searched for nests on randomly selected
rectangular plots (about 400m x 800m) on a survey area of the central coastal
zone of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. All sites dry enough for a nest,
particularly lake shores and islands, were examined for all active and destroyed
goose, brant, eider, swan, crane, loon and gull nests. Nests of other species
were recorded when encountered but most shorebird, passerine, and duck nests were
They recorded species, nest site, number of eggs, evidence of predation,
and other pertinent data on a standardized nest card for each nest. A few eggs
in many clutches were floated to determine the approximate stage of incubation.
The estimated total number of nests on the survey area was calculated to provide
an estimate of the breeding population size. The estimated total number of viable
eggs measured the number of young that could potentially augment the fall population.
Information on nesting chronology was also calculated.
Click on the link below to view the
2016 field report.
Nest Population Size
and Production of Geese and Spectacled Eiders Nesting on the Yukon -Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska
An analysis of the impact of investigator disturbance
on spectacled eiders and cackling geese associated with nest searching
was conducted in 2003. Click on the following link to view the report:
T.D. and R. A. Stehn. 2003. Impact of Investigator Disturbance on Spectacled Eiders
and Cackling Canada Geese nesting on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Unpub. Rept. U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage Alaska 22p. (pdf)
Last Updated: July 2018