No Mother Gooses here! Vancouver cracking down on Canada goose population
Goose droppings, aggression during mating season, and polluting beaches and outdoor pools are just a few reasons the Vancouver Park Board is trying to keep the goose population in check.
Over the last several decades, the Park Board has noted a steady increase in the city’s geese population.
And the consequence has been felt by many Vancouverites who are all too familiar with having a beautiful spring day in the park ruined by excessive goose droppings.
More geese mean damaged turf, water quality impacts and threats to salmon habitat because of an “overgrazing of estuary sedge-grasses,” the Park Board says.
There is also this not-so-fun fact, according to the Park Board: “Canada geese have very inefficient digestive systems and produce a lot of excrement for their size compared to other species. They defecate on average every 12 minutes, presenting a significant challenge in cleaning up after them.”
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As a solution, the Park Board is asking residents to report geese nests or signs of nesting geese online, by calling 311, or emailing [email protected], so it can switch out newly laid eggs for frozen duds.
“One of the most humane methods of population control is addling,” the Park Board explains. “Once swapped, the goose settles back into the nest and eventually flies off when the eggs fail to hatch.”
The BC SPCA and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) support this approach, according to the board. The staff are also federally authorized to perform this activity by Environment Canada and are trained to disturb the birds as little as possible.
“A single alert or aggressive goose that is standing in the same area day-after-day, at either ground-level or roof-top, is a strong indicator that a nest may be nearby,” the Park Board explains.
The Park Board also emphasizes that the program’s success in controlling the Canada goose population depends on the public’s support in reporting nests.