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Dark green = high use area (5 or more years)
Medium green = medium use area (3 to 4 years)
Light green = low use area (1 to 2 years)
Lesser snow geese use a 450-mile strip of the Alaskan and Canadian Beaufort Sea coastal
plain to build fat reserves necessary for migration to wintering areas in California. The
number of snow geese using the Alaskan coastal plain each fall varies from 12,000 to 300,000
birds. Geese arrive on the Alaskan coastal plain in late August, numbers of birds peak in
early to mid September, and birds depart by late September.
The snow goose distribution and frequency of use map on the reverse side is based on data
from aerial surveys flown in September from 1982 to 1993. During each survey a pilot flew a
fixed-wing aircraft from the Katakturak River to the Canadian border, and for each snow goose
flock seen, observers recorded the location and number of birds in the flock on a topographic
map. The surveys were used to determine the number and distribution of snow geese using the
Alaskan coastal plain. A map of the coastal plain was then overlain with a grid of 3-mile
by 3-mile blocks, and the frequency of use of each block was classified as low use (snow geese
observed in block 1 or 2 years), medium use (3-4 years), or high use (5 or more years). Over
80% of the high use blocks occur within the 1002 area.
The large area of coastal plain used by snow geese to build fat reserves does not indicate
that their feeding habitat is unlimited. On the contrary, the size of the area, variability
in food resources, and wide distribution of birds indicates that feeding habitat is widely
distributed, patchy, and necessary as a whole to fall staging snow geese.
Note: This is the MapCruzin.com archive of the FWS Arctic National Wildlife Refuge website. In December, 2001 FWS took this website offline, making it unavailable to the public. It includes 90 plus pages of information and many maps. As of 2006 the important information contained in this, the original "unsanitized" version of the FWS website, has yet to return to the internet, so we will continue to maintain it here as a permanent archive to help inform activists and concerned citizens. If you find any broken links, please report them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will attempt to make the repairs. January, 2008 update - A small part of the original information that was present in 2001 has made it back into the current ANWR website. There is also an archive that contains a small amount of the original information, but it is not readily available from the main website.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2001. Potential impacts of proposed oil and gas
development on the Arctic Refuge’s
coastal plain: Historical overview and
issues of concern. Web page of the Arctic National
17 January 2001. http://arctic.fws.gov/issues1.html
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