The 15th annual goose egg addling program is underway between Vernon and Osoyoos.
Egg addling is an important population management tool that targets geese that are not native to the region, says Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program (OVGM) coordinator Kate Hagmeier.
The hybrid offspring of several different subspecies of Canada Geese introduced in the ’60s and ’70s are targeted with the human and effective process that involves the shaking or coating of eggs.
A non-toxic biodegradable food-grade corn oil is coated on the egg within 14 days of incubation to make them non-viable.
Non-viable eggs, or addled eggs, are returned to the nest where geese continue to incubate them until they realize they won’t hatch. By then, it is generally too late to produce more.
In its 15 years, the long-term program has addled around 19,000 eggs in the Okanagan Valley. That’s around 10,000 to 14,000 geese that didn’t enter the population.
Public reports are key to the program’s success.
Members of the public are asked to report lone geese, pairs of geese or nests located on private or public land by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-877-943-3209.
This year’s program will look a bit different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
OVGMP won’t be able to access nests located in care residences, hospital environments, apartment patios or other locations that won’t allow for physical distancing. But staff will keep record of these locations for future years.
The public is asked to keep distance from goose nests and to not touch eggs.
A federal permit is required to allow crews to addle goose eggs.
If a nest is on private land, permission is needed to access the nest. A form is available on okanagangooseplan.com.
On council’s direction, the City of Vernon has made an application to the provincial and federal governments to conduct a cull program in 2021. This is in addition to the egg addling.