Goose project begins

The Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program is initiating its annual egg addling program.

In the continued effort to control the Canada goose population, the Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program is initiating its annual egg addling program.

Now in its eighth year, this program has prevented the exponential increase of the non-migratory resident goose population that inhabits the valley year round.

“Most communities in the valley struggle with management of these non-migratory Canada geese,” said Kate Hagmeier, project co-ordinator.

“They are largely the descendants of non-native species of geese that were brought here from different areas of Canada in the 1960s and 1970s to encourage the creation of an Okanagan goose population.”

What was not foreseen was their ability to adapt to and thrive in the mild Okanagan climate and their inability to migrate because they had no natural parents to teach them how. As a result, the number of geese has grown with few natural controls, creating a need to manage this population.

“The program works to control the reproductive output of Canada geese, particularly in public spaces,” said Hagmeier.

“Trained contractors identify mating pairs and nesting sites and will complete the addling program by the end of May.”

Key to the success of the program is finding the new nests.

“The public is asked to assist by reporting lone geese, pairs of geese, or nest locations on private or public land by e-mailing coordinator@okanagangooseplan.com or calling 1-877-943-3209,” said Hagmeier.

“The public is also asked to keep away from goose nests and to avoid touching the eggs.”

Information about the program is available at okanagangooseplan.com.