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Lewis and Clark in North Dakota:
Wildlife Then & Now


Common or Canadian Goose (Canada Goose) Past Canadian Goose Distribution Map for North Dakota Present Canadian Goose Distribution Map for North Dakota
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Common or Canadian Goose (Canada Goose)

Because they were common back east little reference was made to the Canada goose other than they were abundant and some displayed the unusual behavior of nesting in trees along the Missouri River. The giant Canada goose was found throughout the state, and remained common into the 1880s. By the 1920s they were considered rare breeders in the state with only a few nesting in Ramsey and Kidder counties. In 1938 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and later the North Dakota Game and Fish Department began reintroducing birds to the state. Later, work shifted to transplanting geese to other public and private lands. This reintroduction is now considered a textbook example of a wildlife management success story. Today giant Canada geese again nest throughout the state.

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