Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Habitat and food availability are believed to be the most important factors influencing the presence of geese (bean geese Anser fabilis, pink-footed geese, Anser brachyrhynchus, greater white-fronted geese Anser albifrons, greylag geese Anser anser, barnacle geese Branta leucopsis, brant Branta bernicla) as well as past distribution. Both will continue to be altered with changes in disturbance and agriculture, and with various forms of development. The creation by forest clearance of open areas in the past was undoubtedly to the benefit of geese. Other changes, such as increasing restrictions on shooting seasons, loss of interest in hunting and egg collecting because of improvements in human diets, and creation of refuges have more than doubled the numbers of four species of geese in the last 20 years.