What To Do About Our Geese Over-Poopulation?

Goose Poop

At last night’s Council meeting, Councillor Cher Cunningham tabled a motion that gets the “goose problem” onto our radar this term. This is not a new problem but it is a growing concern as we try to reclaim Little Lake Park and find ourselves fighting a losing (and expensive) battle against the Canadian goose “over-poopulation” in our community year after year.

The motion that was passed last night reads “That Staff research what is required financially and logistically to complete a Canada Goose Management Strategy so that we can work to reduce the fecal contamination at Midland Parks and Town Dock; and
That Staff bring a report and recommendations to Council.”

Now that the season of the Goose draws to a close and they begin to pack up and head south, it is the perfect time to consider how we can make Midland less attractive to these “snowbirds” once they head back our way next spring. Aside from passive changes to our environment there are also active measure we can take which range from culling them (as we have seen allowed this year with the invasive Cormorant) to oiling their eggs in the nests next spring, to having teams of dogs chase them away daily etc.

This is not a new problem nor is it unique to Midland. Communities all over south-central Ontario are facing record populations and the problems associated with contamination of beaches, parkland and recreational spaces that stem from their feces. Here is what the Humane Society has to say about the matter: https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/what-do-about-canada-geese

At least one concerned community member has written to Council with suggestions and provided links to resources by the Federal Government that speak to the issues and how they can help. Thanks to Harvey Mann for curating these links.

I look forward to the forthcoming report, input from our conservation authority and as usual, invite you to comment and provide input about what steps you’d like to see Midland take to live in harmony with the Geese while mitigating the health concerns, and aesthetic issues that come from their propensity to gather and reproduce in our community.

Information on Migratory Bird conservation:

https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/migratory-bird-conservation.html

Managing Conflict with Migratory Birds:

https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/migratory-bird-conservation/managing-conflicts.html

Frequently Asked Questions:

https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/migratory-bird-conservation/managing-conflicts/frequently-asked-questions.html

Migratory Bird Permit Applications:
https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/migratory-bird-permits/application-forms.html