Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) Control
You have seen them around, you may have even admired them. But in recent years they have become a big problem. Golf courses, beach front property owners and community parks have been fouled with goose droppings. A Canada goose (not Canadian goose), while a majestic bird, can deposit about a half a pound of fecal material on your grass each and every day. The problem of course is how to get rid of them.
Canada geese are protected under the North American Migratory Bird Treaty which was ratified in the early 20th century. Essentially it provides legal protection of birds that migrate across national borders of Mexico. The treaty allows the birds to be killed during either a regulated hunting season or when they are committing property or crop damage.
The trouble is while you might think that you are suffering property damage, the government requires that non-lethal options be tried first. Only after non-lethal options have been tried will the government give you a permit for lethal control.
Strategies for Canada geese (Branta canadensis) control.
*Hazing: Hazing consists of harassing the birds so that they no longer will frequent your water front property. The best way this is accomplished it to setup a dog run parallel to the water. Let the dog chase and bark at the geese. The key is to find a dog that loves to chase geese and is not intimidated by them. Note, it’s illegal to haze geese when they are in the molt (i.e. flightless).
*Pyrotechnics/sonic devices: These are exploding devices that are shot from a 12-gauge shot gun. They cause a loud bang when they are fired and when they explode some thirty yards away. They can be very effective when used as soon as the flock begins to use the pond or property. But if they become established its effectiveness is lessened or may be only temporary. The problem with these devices is the legal restrictions on their use on account that they are considered firearms. Before you buy them be sure to check with your police department to see if they will permit its use.
*Fencing: Placing a three foot high fence along the edge of the water can be a very effective method of preventing geese from defecating on your lawn. Geese like being able to have free access from the water to the lawn and vice versa. The fence doesn’t have to be pretty, expensive or even permanent. You can even use chicken wire.
*Landscaping: Planting shrubs on your property near the water line can be a great method of discouraging geese. Geese prefer open grass so that they can easily see their predators. Placing shrubs around the edge of the water helps reduce their line of vision making them more vulnerable to natural predators and more nervous.
If you would like further assistance with applying these methods contact me.
About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
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