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 [PDF] 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: