SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Department of Natural Resources biologists and volunteers will participate in a series of goose banding efforts this month - corralling Canada geese for examination and for placing aluminum leg bands on select birds as part of an international effort to monitor waterfowl populations.
Waterfowl banding efforts are coordinated through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in cooperation with state wildlife agencies and the Canadian Wildlife Service, to provide wildlife managers with reliable information on bird survival, hunter harvest rates, where birds are harvested by hunters (harvest distribution), and the impacts of hunting regulations on waterfowl populations. As part of this international program, biologists with the IDNR attempt to capture and band several thousand Canada geese each year.
In Illinois, Canada geese are banded during mid- to late June when they are molting and lack flight feathers. Biologists herd the geese into makeshift corals from which they catch individual birds, determine their age and sex, then place aluminum leg bands with identification numbers on the birds. The numbers are registered with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to track information about the birds. Biologists, hunters and others who later find or harvest a goose with a leg band are asked to report the information on where and when the bird was found to the USGS, providing important information on waterfowl behavior and habitat use.
Media are invited to join goose banding personnel deploying from the following locations to roundup geese in the areas listed below:
June 16 - Sangchris Lake and Lake Springfield - meeting at the Sangchris Lake State Park office at 9 a.m.
June 19 - Chicago area - meet at the Holiday Inn, 1250 Roosevelt Road, Glen Ellyn at 1 p.m.
June 20, 21, 22 - Chicago area - meet at the Holiday Inn in Glen Ellyn each day at 8 a.m.
June 26 - Canton area - meeting at the Heritage Grand Inn, 1150 E. Linn St., Canton at 1 p.m.
June 27, 28 - Canton area - meeting at Heritage Grand Inn in Canton each day at 8 a.m.
June 29 - Baldwin Lake - meet at the Baldwin Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area office, 10981 Conservation Road, Baldwin at 8 a.m.
June 30 - Randolph and Perry counties - meet at the IDNR office, 1701 N. Market, Sparta at 8 a.m.