Goose Management Plan
The number of Canada geese has increased dramatically over recent decades. The amount that use Rocky Point Park throughout the summer has been especially high. Such high numbers of geese pose a health and safety risk, as they leave a lot of droppings. Geese can also develop aggressive and territorial behaviour, including begging for food and biting people. In addition to the health and safety risk, there are financial costs associated with removing droppings and installing physical barriers to deter geese from entering the park.
To address the issues created by geese in Port Moody, the City has developed a goose management plan. City crews and contractors will be implementing management actions (habitat modifications, hazing) throughout the spring and summer.
Geese prefer to graze on lawns with open sight lines to water. Therefore, breaking up access to water will reduce goose presence in specific areas. Fencing and planting vegetation are effective measures to achieve this.
Goose Hazing – Frequently Asked Questions
How does goose hazing work?
Strategic hazing uses scare tactics to teach geese not to use specific areas. Geese respond most strongly to a presence that emulates a natural predator, such as a coyote, wolf, fox, or falcon. For this reason, hazing is usually done with a trained dog or a falcon. The City of Port Moody is using trained dogs for its goose hazing pilot program. Trained dogs will chase geese consistently until the birds leave the area.
Where will the geese go?
Canada geese are able to use different habitats, and the Lower Mainland has an abundance of wetlands and grasslands. The geese will likely move to another area in the Lower Mainland.
Are Canada geese protected? Is hazing allowed?
Canada geese are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994
. However, the Act recognizes that there are times when the damage or danger caused by birds must be addressed, and provides tools for landowners (including municipalities) to deal with situations where birds come into conflict with humans. Hazing is just one tool in a suite of management options that landowners can use to make their lands less attractive to geese.
Does hazing harm the geese?
Hazing is classified as a humane management technique by The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Hazing is specifically allowed under Subsection 24(1) of the Federal Migratory Birds Regulations
, and is recommended by Environment Canada
Sources of food and nesting areas are abundant for geese in the mild climate of the Lower Mainland, so they will move to the wetlands and grasslands in surrounding areas.
Will the geese return when the dogs are gone?
Hazing must be done repeatedly so the geese learn to avoid the area. If the hazing is done early in the season (i.e. before the geese use the park to rear their young), there will be fewer geese in the area for the remainder of the year. If the fall 2018 goose hazing pilot program is successful, the City will resume hazing in the spring of 2019.
Has strategic hazing been effective in other communities?
Kelowna, Penticton, and Richmond are just a few examples of municipalities where hazing has been found to be effective in reducing the number of geese that use lands also used by people.