Q: We would like to control the Canadian geese at our subdivision. Any ideas on how we might go about doing it?
A: The Canada goose has in some instances become an annoyance mostly because of the large amounts of fecal matter they produce which can pollute water sources. No one is eager to have that sort of mess around their golf courses, ball parks or landscape retention ponds. They have become trouble for some motorists as the geese often cross busy streets at any time of the day, including rush-hour. Unfortunately for Canada geese, they thrive in areas frequently used for human recreational activities. Canada geese can also be a safety concern at airports as they can cause airplane accidents if sucked into the engines. If Canada geese start to become a nuisance, people must think and plan very carefully before starting any control measures. All Canada geese, including the permanent resident geese, are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This makes any direct control, such as killing, touching, or disturbing live geese, nests, or eggs by a person or his/her property (including pets), of problem geese difficult. Any direct control measures must be done with the permission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
People can take some indirect measures with proven success in some areas:
- Stop feeding geese
- Fence areas to exclude geese
- Grid ponds with wire so geese will not land
- Allow grass to grow tall, especially along lakeshores and riverbanks because geese prefer short grass to eat, easy sighting of predators, and quick and easy access to escape cover on the open water
For more information, check out the publication from the University of Florida: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/UW/UW24500.pdf