The U.S. Fish and Wildlife has issued its annual “Conservation Order” for snow geese for eight states in the Atlantic Flyway: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Vermont.
In a statement, Vermont Fish and Wildlife said the numbers of these geese have grown so high that they are destroying habitat for themselves and other species.
The Vermont 2019 Spring Snow Goose Conservation Order will occur statewide, the statement said. The daily bag limit is 15 snow geese, and there is no possession limit.
David Sausville, Vermont’s waterfowl project biologist, says the bird population growth is unsustainable, justifing the need for the order.
“The breeding population of greater snow geese has grown from approximately 50,000 birds in the mid-1960s to 877,000 birds today,” said Sausville. “This increase has resulted in damage to agricultural crops and marsh vegetation in staging and wintering areas from Quebec to North Carolina. The Atlantic Flyway has established a goal of 500,000 greater snow geese to bring populations in balance with their habitat and reduce crop depredation.”
A 2019 Spring Snow Goose Harvest Permit is required and is available at no charge on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website at https://vtfishandwildlife.com/hunt. Hunters may also call the Essex Junction Office (802-878-1564) to request a permit and other details.