The Aleutian Canada goose has made a remarkable comeback from the edge of extinction over the past several decades. Smaller than Canada geese, Aleutian geese were common throughout the islands up until the 20th century, when decades of fox farming nearly wiped out the species. Only a few hundred were left alive by the late 1960s on one fox-free island. Feral foxes were removed from a number of other Aleutians, and the geese were reintroduced; by 1990 their numbers had regenerated to the point (7,000) where they were removed from the ranks of the endangered and upgraded to “threatened.”
Emperor geese are a distinctive black-throated bird, and nearly the entire population of 70,000 nest in Southwest Alaska, from the Aleutians to Kodiak.
Snow geese, on the other hand, are plentiful. Huge flocks totaling up to 100,000 birds migrate roughly 5,000 miles each year from central California through Alaska to their nesting grounds on Wrangel Island (in Russia).
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition