Attempts to control the Okanagan Valley’s Canada goose population continue.
Trained contractors are already searching for nesting sites this spring in the hope of addling eggs and preventing new geese from being born.
“The geese we are targeting are not native to the area,” said Kate Hagmeier, Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program co-ordinator.
“These geese are largely descendants of geese that were translocated here as part of an introduction program in the 1960 and ‘70s. Young geese and eggs were brought here from different areas in Canada to encourage the creation of an Okanagan goose population.”
However, Hagmeier says these geese haven’t migrated because they had no parents or natural triggers to guide them, while the valley’s mild climate has allowed them to thrive.
“The consequences have been a successfully growing population with few natural controls.
The egg addling program involves shaking eggs or coating them with non-toxic biodegradable food-grade corn oil within 14 days of incubation to make them non-viable.
“The U.S. Humane Society supports this egg addling technique,” said Hagmeier.
Once addled, eggs are returned to the nest. Geese continue to incubate until they realize the eggs will not hatch.
At this point, it is generally too late in the year to produce more eggs. Adults are not harmed and will continue their regular life cycle.
The public is asked to report lone geese, pairs of geese, or nest locations on private or public land by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-877-943-3209.
The Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program is a partnership of various jurisdictions, including the City of Vernon, Regional District of Central Okanagan and the District of Lake Country.
More information about the program is available at okanagangooseplan.com.