Monday, November 25, 2019

Geese Population Decline

Caught on WSIU over the weekend that the geese population wintering in southern Illinois has dropped by about 99% over the past 20 years. In 1990, roughly 1 million geese came to southern Illinois to winter and support a thriving hunting industry. This year, the expected number looks about 1000.

Primary reasons for the drop are warmer winters, the rise of no-till farming and the floods of 93 and 94. Geese only fly as far south as they need to in order to find open water during the winter and the warmer temperatures make them able to find that further north than here.

No-till farming means more forage left on the ground, compared to prior years when farmers plowed it all under while the 93-94 floods reduced a lot of feed in the area for the geese, causing them to look for other locales, with more food, to winter over.

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