Date of this Version
Since large, dark tule white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons gam belli Hartlaub) were first described in Texas over a century ago by Hartlaub (1852), and again 65 years later in California by Swarth and Bryant (1917), tule geese have been the subject of at least 14 studies in California and 8 attempts to locate summering birds in the Artic. Central questions of these efforts have been: Is the tule goose a distinct subspecies? What is their range and population size? How can the birds be identified? and What threatens their existence?
The purpose of this paper is to present the current status of tule geese, including taxonomy, distribution, population size, and management challenges, and to provide management recommendations. Intensive work on tule geese in Calfornia by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1978 and in Alaska by the Department of Fish and Game since 1979 has provided the basis for this paper.