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March 19, 2012

What to Do About Canada Geese

Killing nuisance geese is not the answer

Adapted from the book Wild Neighbors

  • Joe Klune/iStockphoto

Wherever there are Canada geese, there are goose droppings. And therein lies the main problem that many people have with these otherwise mostly harmless birds.

Rounding up and killing entire flocks of geese has become an all-too-common (and temporary) fix in many communities. Besides being inhumane, this also leaves room for a new flock to just move right in.

The same goes for Canada geese who live around airports, where they’re often a cause for concern. For the safety of air travelers and wildlife both, airports need safety programs. The answer lies in treating the problem at its source, by making airports and their surrounding areas unappealing habitats for the birds.

Geese shouldn’t get a death sentence for doing what comes naturally—especially when long-term, effective, and humane solutions exist.

Humane programs have been successfully resolving conflicts with resident Canada geese in many communities for many years. Some are GeesePeace programs. This national organization emphasizes effective long-term humane solutions. Other communities develop their own humane plan and implement it.

The best geese control programs combine three methods: limiting flock growth, frightening geese (humanely) so they decide to leave on their own, and changing the habitat so it isn’t attractive to geese. Here's what to do:

» Why Do Canada Geese Like Urban Areas?
» Plan Ahead: How and When to Get Started
» Addle Goose Eggs to Limit Flock Growth
» Scare Geese Away Humanely
» Keep Geese Away by Changing the Habitat
» Killing Doesn't Work: The Problem with Goose Roundups

Resources

» Guide to Canada Geese shows step-by-step how to humanely deal with "nuisance" geese.
» Living with Wild Neighbors in Urban and Suburban Communities: A Guide for Local Leaders gives elected officials and other decision-makers the tools to implement long-lasting, nonlethal solutions to community wildlife conflicts.
» Schedule a Canada Goose Egg Addling Training workshop in your community.
» GeesePeace: Helping community leaders devise and implement humane, effective and low cost solutions to wildlife conflicts
» Humane Wildlife Services works to resolve homeowners' conflicts with wild neighbors.
» Our Wild Neighbors book offers a detailed look at urban wildlife species and how to peacefully coexist with them.

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