The Animal Alliance of Canada is asking the Capital Regional District (CRD) to not kill Canada geese in the Canadian capital region but instead, it should focus on modifying the birds’ habitat. The CRD board is considering whether to adopt a goose-management service that would include culling geese, in addition to addling eggs, mapping, monitoring and public education. The animal protectionists claim that culling only leave room for more geese to move in. The habitat modifications they propose go from hanging strings above fields to deter geese from landing to installing large boulders, which geese do not like.
Jordan Reichert of the Animal Alliance of Canada said to The Times Colonist, “culls don’t really work. When you cull the population of geese, you are creating better opportunities for the surviving goose population to flourish…A cull is not going to really change the habitat or the landscape in a way that is going to get rid of the conflict.”
Other alternatives to culling suggested by the organisation are reducing sightlines so the area is less appealing to geese, creating buffers of larger plantings to deter geese from hauling themselves directly out of the water onto grass, using scarecrows, noisemakers, and balloons, as well as installing mechanical barriers.
Canada geese have been spreading towards many countries for decades — including in Europe — so, unfortunately, they are facing culls beyond Canada. Last year, Foster City, California, planned to kill up to 100 Canada geese. City officials said that the birds’ population had to be reduced because it is causing potential health hazards and deteriorating lagoon water quality. Each year, the number of Canada geese in Foster city’s lagoon has grown, rising from 181 in 2020 to 323 the following year.