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

Molly Giles and a goose waiting for a satellite tag


December 2008 - December 2010


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 Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • 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.


  • Giles, M. 2010. Habitat Use and Home Ranges of Migratory Canada Geese in the Santee-PeeDee System. MS Thesis, Clemson University.Website  | 


  • Giles, M.*, P.G.R. Jodice, J. Stanton, M. Epstein. 2011. Migratory pathways and migration chronology of Canada geese wintering at the Santee National Wildlife Refuge. Waterbird Society Annual Meeting, Grand Island, Nebraska

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 238

Phd Students: 144

Post Docs: 54

University Staff: 239

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 673

Scientific Publications: 1905

Presentations: 4235



Funding Agencies

  • USFWS Region 4


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey