Date of this Version
An intensive investigation into the limiting factors and behavior of the Seney Canada goose (Branta canadensis maxima -- Hanson, 1965) flock was conducted from June, 1962 to August, 1965. A portion of the study findings, concerning kill and migration patterns, is reported here.
The 95,500 acre Seney National Wildlife Refuge is situated in the east-central sector of Michigan's upper peninsula, in the southwest quadrant of land formed by the junction of state highways M-77 and M-28. It is composed of four broad habitat types of which approximately 400 acres are cropland, 26,900 acres upland brush and timber, 61, 000 acres marshland, and 7,200 acres open water. Twenty-one pools, ranging from 27 to over 1,000 acres in size, contain most of the open water acreage.
Seney is a part of, what was once known as, the Great Manistique Swamp. In describing the area, Halladay (1965) stated that "The region is characterized by vast expanses of lowlands, consisting of a black spruce bog condition interspersed with patches of sedge glade and strips of high ground which support white, red, and jack pine ... the general topography is very flat with the natural drainage being from northwest to southeast with a constant gradient of from 5 to 10 feet per mile ... the soil and subsoil is pure medium sand. Only a few inches of the surface layer have weathered and contain organic matter. Accumulations of peat and muck have formed throughout (most) of the bog and wet areas. (Peat) depths of from 3-8 feet cover the sub-surface sandplain which underlies the entire region."