Effects of Aleutian Geese on Humboldt County Pastures

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2008: $28,540.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Western
State: California
Principal Investigator:
Alan Bower
University of California Davis


  • Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: grazing - continuous, pasture fertility, feed/forage
  • Education and Training: extension, on-farm/ranch research
  • Pest Management: field monitoring/scouting

    Proposal summary:

    Aleutian Geese (Branta hutchinsii leaucopareia), an endangered species from 1973 to 2001, have grown in population to 75,000 migrating birds since delisting. These geese stop each spring in Humboldt County to feed on pastures owned by local farmers and ranchers. This conflict between area growers and the geese is intensified by the birds’ attraction to short stubble and rotationally grazed fields, two economic and ecologically sustainable practices employed by local ranchers in the last 25 years.

    This Professional + Producer Grant will collect data to quantify the impacts the geese have on pastures, which will help identify solutions to forage loss, helping ranchers remain profitable. Results will be disseminated to Humboldt County livestock producers and others during local field days and meetings and through newsletters, extension publications and professional publications.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.