Humans are using more and more areas for settlements. In the process, wildlife that also live within the areas being developed into communities may find themselves in conflict with humans. This webinar explores how we can manage the population of Canada Geese and prevent conflicts with these otherwise harmless creatures.
This session’s instructor is Lynsey White. She is the Director of Humane Wildlife Conflict Resolution for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) where she helps communities find effective and humane solutions to conflicts with wildlife. She also runs the Wild Neighbors program providing humane policies and practices for responding to calls about wildlife.
Specifics of her in-depth discussion include:
- Differentiating migratory from resident Canada Geese, and unpacking the events and developments that created the resident Canada Geese.
- The five biological seasons that determine Canada Geese’s behavior throughout the year.
- Mating season from December to March when Canada Geese gather in groups and then start pairing up to find mates for life.
- Nesting season from March to May when the female geese build nests, start laying eggs, and proceed to incubate the eggs until they hatch.
- Gosling maturing and foraging season from April to June when hatched goslings are learning life skills through their parents.
- Molt season from June to August when adult Canada Geese lose their flight feathers causing them to be stuck in one area which inadvertently causes conflicts with humans.
- Pond hopping and foraging season from August to January when adults’ flight feathers are grown back, and the goslings have fully learned to fly allowing them to fly from place to place in search for food.
- How geese are attracted to urban areas because of the availability of preferred habitats and food sources.
- Problems that Canada Geese pose in human-populated areas in terms of droppings, aggressive geese protecting their nests, and traffic hazards as geese and goslings search for a water source.
- A rundown of ineffective approaches to resolve conflicts with Canada Geese.
- The four components of a successful Canada Geese conflict resolution strategy – curtailing reproduction, aversive conditioning, habitat modification, and eliminating feeding.
- The process of curtailing reproduction through egg addling, when it is done, the federal rules that apply, and what constitutes humane egg addling.
- Guidelines to correct egg addling, the float test which ensures humane egg addling, and the pros and cons of different egg addling techniques.
- Aversive conditioning: When it should be done, the different methods, and the conditions to make these methods effective.
- Habitat modification – a long-term solution that examines the factors that attract Canada Geese into human settlements and what can be done to avert it.
- How feeding Canada Geese is aggravating wildlife conflict as well as creating adverse health outcomes for the geese.
- The importance of a holistic Canada Geese conflict resolution strategy based on their biological timelines and recommended initiatives to effectively implement the plan.
Questions from the webinar attendees are about:
- Resources for other wildlife species available through the HSUS.
- Whether Canada Geese conflict resolution tactics can be applied to other migratory bird species.
- The possibility of contracting avian influenza from Canada Geese droppings or eggs.
- Whether Canada Geese are considered invasive or overpopulated.
- Whether to addle all of the eggs or just some of the eggs.
- How long the hen stays in the nest incubating the eggs before abandoning the addled eggs.
- How the oil used to addle eggs can impact the adults’ feathers.
- Harvesting goose eggs for human consumption as an option to curtail geese population.
- Why geese prefer fertilized grass.
- Why poking and shaking as a method of egg addling isn’t recommended.
Other Webinars with HSUS
- Feb 16: Solving Problems with Canada Geese (this webinar)
- April 11: Community Policing Lessons for Animal Protection
- April 27: Solving Problems with Deer
- May 25: Community Engagement and De-Escalation for Animal Service Professionals
- July 20: Cats and Wildlife
- Sept 28: What to Do about Conflicts with Rodents
Resources and Handouts
- Handout: Solving Problems with Geese: Canada Goose Egg Addling Protocol
- Handout: Solving Problems with Canada Geese: A Management Plan and Information Guide
- “The speaker was well excellent. Handouts will come in handy when I’m educating people with goose conflicts.” — Charles
- “Everything was highly valuable information.” — Anthony
- “Great webinar! I really enjoyed it. Going to see where I can get some of the colorful educational signs for park (not to feed geese).” — Julie
- “Methods and options, as well as, the registration requirements were all very valuable to know.” — Jamie E.
- “I didn’t know the history of goose “management” and why some Canada geese don’t migrate.” — April
- “Different seasons of life cycle, migratory vs resident geese, and deterrents.” — Elizabeth
- “How to deter geese. Humane solutions are always best.” — Colleen
This webinar has been certified by the National Animal Care & Control Association and is approved for 1 Continuing Education Unit. Please refer to your NACA membership portal for current CEU submission process. Current NACA Members who attend the live presentation or watch the recording will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Animal Care & Control Association logo. Visit the NACA training page for a complete list of future trainings.
Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues.