Skagit Valley / Wrangel Island Snow Goose
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Dataset credit

Data provider
WA Dept of Fish & Wildlife Waterfowl
Originating data center
Satellite Tracking and Analysis Tool (STAT)


Primary contact Joe Evenson Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
Data entry Michael Coyne



The Northern Puget Sound (NPS) wintering population of lesser snow geese occurs in the Skagit and Fraser Deltas along the western border between the United States and Canada. This population of snow geese have traditionally used very discrete estuary and agricultural habitats associated with Skagit and Port Susan Bays.

The breeding grounds of this population are on Wrangel Island, Russia. Because Wrangel Island snow geese represent the last major snow goose population breeding in Asia, and the primary Russian goose population that winters in North America, it is a high priority for the Pacific Flyway and the subject of long standing international cooperative management and conservation. Data collected since the early 1970s on Wrangel Island indicates that the population has grown in abundance, become younger, and changed its behavior relative to traditional habitat and resources. These population changes have become more apparent since the early 1990s and appear to be in response to warmer spring conditions, earlier snowmelt, and changes in the predator community on Wrangel Island. Some of these changes are also evident in the NPS wintering population where the total overwintering population size has increased.

The objectives of this project are to examine the current relationship of the NPS population to other Pacific flyway use areas. This will include documentation of migration routes, phenology, staging areas, and stopover locations throughout the flyway. Particular questions that we hope to answer include:
- When do geese depart and return to NPS during spring and fall migration?
- Where are important flyway use areas during migration?
- When and how long do geese use areas along migration routes?
- Document inter and/or intra-year interchange among NPS and other wintering areas.
- Do some geese that use NPS move to other locations within the flyway during the same winter or among different years?
- If NPS geese are moving to other locations, what is the timing of emigration and potential return to NPS?

The transmitters are programed to transmit for three years.

WDFW Biologist Roozen and Technicians Anderson, Deyo, and Otto were instrumental in the successful snow goose captures - without their untiring efforts and perseverance through poor weather conditions, deployment of the full sample of transmitters would not have been possible. We are especially grateful to Dr. Scott Ford of Avian Specialty Veterinary Services for his expertise and exceptional work with the transmitter implant procedures, and to WDFW Technician Deyo and Vet-Tech Yana Podobedova who assisted Dr. Ford with many of the procedures. We are also indebted to WDFW Waterfowl Section Manager Kraege for his support for this project; it is because of his efforts that project was able to take flight. We are grateful to the WDFW staff at the Skagit Wildlife Area for their continued support during our capture efforts. We would like to thank M. Axelson for caring for one of the geese that was unable to fly immediately after the capture - this goose quickly recovered and was able to take flight. Vasiliy Baranyuk provided flock sighting information which assisted us in determining where to focus capture efforts. We are also extremely grateful to the many landowners who were gracious in granting access to their lands.

Project PI's-
Joe Evenson - WDFW Waterfowl Survey and Sea Duck Specialist
Chris Danilson - WDFW District Biologist



Supplemental information

Visit STAT's project page for additional information.




Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
Only minimum required attributes are visible and downlodable online. Other attributes may be obtained upon provider's permission unless otherwise noted below.

This section explains attributes included in the original dataset. OBIS-SEAMAP restricts the attributes available to the public to date/time, lat/lon and species names/counts only. Should you need other attributes described here, you are encouraged to contact the data provider.

Attributes in dataset provided

Attribute (table column)Description
project_idSTAT Project ID
prognumProgram number
tag_idPTT ID
datetime_utcDate and time in UTC
lcLocation class
iqQuality indicator
latitudeLatitude 1
longitudeLongitude 1
dir1Dir 1
nb_mesNumber of messages received
big_nb_mesdefinition not provided
best_levelBest signal strength in dB
pass_durationPass duration in seconds
nopcNumber Of Plausibility Checks successful (from 0-4)
calcul_freqCalculated frequency
altitudeAltitude used for location calculation
speciesSpecies name
sp_tsnITIS Taxonomic Serial Number
lc_filterParameters to location filtering
speed_filterParameters to speed filtering
distance_filterParameters to distance filtering
topo_filterParameters to topo filtering
time_filterParameters to time filtering
angle_filterParameters to angle filtering
life_stageLife stage of the animal
genderGender of the animal
wetdryWet or dry
wetdry_filterParameters to Wet or dry filterint
obs_datetimeDate and time (local time zone)
timezone_hTime difference from UTC
obs_countAnimal count (always 1)
Marine mammals0
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species3,673
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2013-02-26
Date, End2014-08-20
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude47.87 - 71.55
Longitude174.15 - 248.20
Coord. prec.3 decimal digits
Data typeTelemetry location
TracklinesYES (ID: 944)
Contr. throughSatellite Tracking and Analysis Tool
Sharing policy Permission required
Also availalbe from None
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics