For general information on Emperor geese, see the following links:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds
National Audubon Society
Range map of Emperor Geese
(from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Current Status and Management Issues for Emperor GeeseThe vast majority of the worlds' Emperor Geese, perhaps 70,000, breed on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in western Alaska. Some additional Emperor geese breed along coastal areas of eastern Russia, principally in the Anadyr region. Spring and fall staging is principally in coastal lagoons on the northern shores of the Alaska Peninsula. During winter, emperor geese are widely dispersed in small flocks distributed from Kodiak Island, Alaska to the Commander Islands of Russia and encompassing the whole Aleutian Islands. They are a marine goose in that they nest and raise young in coastal, tidally-influenced habitats, feeding on sedges and grasses, and then spend their entire non-breeding periods in intertidal habitats feeding on marine invertebrates, plants, and algals. Throughout their annual cycle, Emperor geese occur in remote habitats that have incurred relatively little modification by direct human activities.
The species has long been harvested by local subsistence hunters. However, the Emperor goose is one of just 3 waterfowl species currently unavailable for legal harvest in Alaska, as governed by the Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council. Population survey data indicate that numbers in Alaska declined from the mid 1960s to mid 1980s, and have remained low and below management goals since then, albeit with a small amount of recent increase. Fall age ratio surveys have indicated low production over the last decade, and possible causes for this include changes in abundance of preferred sedges, predation by Arctic foxes and glaucous gulls, and competition from increasing numbers of other geese. Continued harvest of Emperor geese also appears to affect the survival rates of adult geese.