Goose Aquatic Assessment - Wapusk National Park
Wapusk National Park (WNP), protects a vast landscape of coastal salt marshes, countless ponds, and a diversity of boreal-tundra interface habitats, and serves as staging areas for migrating birds, including the Lesser Snow Goose (LSGO). Over the last few decades LSGO populations have increased exponentially due to multiple factors the LSGO is now considered hyper-abundant. Grazing LSGO create large disturbed and barren areas altering vegetation, soil, and ponds, and affecting the ecological integrity of the parks terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
To assess goose impacts and their spatial expansion, thirty (30) ponds were selected to form a coarse grid covering the area north of the Broad River and east of Nestor Two camp. Water composition, including conductivity, is monitoring in July annually. As geese feed, they remove vegetation; and their droppings add nutrient and organic matter in and around ponds. Increased water nutrients and sediment results in increased conductivity, a sign of increased goose presence and impacts.
The field crew also records evidence of geese at each pond and pond water is sampled for laboratory analyses of naturally occurring isotopic tracers to assess the water Evaporation to Input (shortened to E/I ratio), and measure nutrients and organic matter dynamic. Water samples are sent for laboratory analysis to our monitoring partners, the Hydroecology Team led by Dr. Brent Wolfe (Wilfrid Laurier University). We are currently publishing part 1 of the data; a more complete dataset will be posted at a later date.
- Publisher - Current Organization Name: Parks Canada
- Contributor: Hilary White (PhD candidate at Wilfred Laurier University), Dr. Brent Wolfe (Wilfrid Laurier University)
- Licence: Open Government Licence - Canada
Data and Resources
Goose Aquatic Assessment - Wapusk National ParkCSVEnglish French dataset CSV
Goose Aquatic Assessment - Wapusk National Park - Data DictionaryCSVEnglish French terminology CSV