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Environment Canada allows spring snow goose hunt in N.W.T.

Environment Canada will allow a snow goose hunt in the spring in hopes of helping control their ballooning population at nesting grounds in the N.W.T.
In this 2010 photo more than 8,000 snow and Ross' geese migrate into the Bitterroot Valley near Stevensville, Montana. Environment Canada will allow a snow goose hunt in the spring of 2015 in hopes of helping control their ballooning population at nesting grounds in the N.W.T. (Perry Backus/AP)

Environment Canada will allow a snow goose hunt in the spring in hopes of helping control their ballooning population at nesting grounds in the N.W.T.

Environment Canada says the nesting adult snow goose population on Banks Island has ballooned to half a million.

"Our overall population objective for the Western Arctic population is 200,000 adult nesting birds," said Myra Robertson with Environment Canada. "So you can see by the numbers we are double that."

In 2014 the Canadian Wildlife Service designated the snow goose population as over-abundant. The overabundance of geese is damaging the slow-growing vegetation on the tundra. About five per cent of the snow goose's traditional habitat has been damaged. 

"The habitat is important not only for snow geese but also a lot of the other wildlife in the area," said Robertson.

This year anyone with a federal Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit with a Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp can hunt snow geese on Banks Island, Victoria Island and Queen Elizabeth Island from May 1 to June 30, and throughout the N.W.T. from May 1 to 28.

The fall snow goose hunt will run from September to December.

Environment Canada says it will continue to monitor the snow goose population to see if the expanded hunt helps keep it in check. It plans to do its next survey in 2018. 

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