Bailey Tasker with Shoveler duckling by Chris Nicholai
Predicting Snow Goose Migration for the Berkley Pit
Bailey Tasker

Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Program begins 7:00PM
Montana WILD, 2668 Broadwater Ave.

In 2016, unprecedented circumstances led to an estimated sixty thousand snow geese to land on the Berkeley Pit, a Superfund site in Butte MT. Three thousand of the geese perished in the event. Since then, a group called Berkeley Pit Waterfowl Protection Program was formed to ensure a tragedy, like the one in 2016, never happens again. However, snow geese pose a unique and difficult problem for the Berkeley Pit. These birds fly long distances, travel in large flocks, migrate rapidly, and still pose a vulnerability to the Pit. To enhance preparedness for the arrival of snow geese, the program has sought the ability to predict large migration pulses. Bailey Tasker, a Master of Ecological Restoration Student at Montana Tech, is using GPS/GSM data from collared snow geese to understand when and why these birds move. Her project aims to transform this data into a tool which can predict the migration drivers of snow geese over Montana, thus enhancing waterfowl protection efforts at the Berkeley Pit.

Our speaker, Bailey Tasker, is a biologist and soon to be restoration ecologist with a background in microbiology, soil science, and aquatic ecosystems. She holds a BS in Biology, a minor in Environmental Science, and a concentration in Scientific Research from Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Bailey is the author of several publications focused on the effects of climate change and other stressors on native/non-native species. She is also a graduate of Delta Waterfowl’s esteemed “Waterfowl Breeding Ecology Program”. Her graduate work is a collaboration between Montana Tech, USGS-Western Ecological Research Center, and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

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