Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: South Carolina
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

South Carolina Project

Movement Patterns and Habitat Use of Migratory Canada Geese Wintering In and Adjacent to the Santee National Wildlife Refuge Phase #2.

December 2008 - December 2010


Participating Agencies

  • USFWS Region 4

The goal of the proposed research is to examine the wintering ecology and to provide conservation insight for this subpopulation that historically uses wintering habitat on several NWRs in the Savannah-Santee-Pee Dee ecosystem. The objectives of the proposed research are to: (1) Determine the wintering distribution of migratory Canada Geese. The study will conduct in the Santee NWR. The Refuge is within the upper coastal plain region, in Clarendon County, South Carolina. A primary objective of the refuge is to provide winter habitat and protection of waterfowl. Significant waterfowl concentrations winter on and around the Refuge. Prior to the arrival of migratory geese I the fall, resident goose distribution will be determined through a series of aerial surveys. Distribution, movement patterns, and home range sizes of wintering migratory Canada geese will then be measured through conventional telemetry techniques and through observations of birds with neck collars. The distribution of resident geese and the degree of mixing with migratory geese also will be determined through the use of conventional telemetry and neck collars. Lastly, local land use planning data from conventional telemetry will be analyzed using GIS mapping to determine potential habitat loss impacts.

Research Publications Publication Date
Giles, M.M., P.G.R. Jodice, R.F. Baldwin, J. Stanton, M. Epstein. 2013. Spring migratory pathways and migration chronology of Canada Geese wintering at the Santee NWR. Canadian Field Naturalist 127: 17-25. July 2013
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Giles, M. 2010. Habitat Use and Home Ranges of Migratory Canada Geese in the Santee-PeeDee System. MS Thesis, Clemson University. December 2010