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Ecology/Nature - Wildlife - Other Wildlife

Canada Geese
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has made rough estimates of the numbers of Canada geese at the Lab at between 15000 and 18000 during the height of the migration season. The large areas of warm water and abundant forage and open spaces make Fermilab an ideal haven for geese during the winter. Although Canada geese are protected, they tend to be aggressive and in such large numbers, they can have a depressing effect on populations of other waterfowl.

The ideal conditions can result in problems. An overabundance of white-tailed deer has become increasingly apparent in recent years. As of 1994, the estimated deer population on the site was around 350 individuals, and the annual reproductive rate was estimated at 12%. An optimal density would be around 150 for the site. At the current rate of increase, by the year 2004, there would be 1500 deer, a population density that has necessitated lethal deer removal projects in neighboring communities and park districts.

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last modified 1/23/2001   email Fermilab