Public Space (Municipal) Canada geese Control in NJ, NY & CT
Observing wildlife can be an exciting, even refreshing experience. As the various species interact among themselves and respond to human presence, they reveal behaviors and traits that distract people from their mundane routines for at least a moment or two. Yet the contact between the wild and civilization can also be hazardous. Among the roadkill, animal-borne diseases, property damage and personal injuries are found good reasons to keep people and critters apart. No better example of this can be found in New Jersey, where public space municipal Canada geese control remains a vexing problem for township planners and local politicians.
About the Canada goose Species
Probably the easiest goose species to identify with their black-and-white heads and long, black necks, the Canada goose can grow to nearly three feet in height and 12 pounds in weight. Since they are categorized as migratory game birds by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Canada geese benefit from strict bag limits for hunters and many regulations for people wishing to relocate or otherwise handle them. In fact, the government mandates a permit to even handle nests or eggs. Combining these protections with prolific egg-laying and few natural predators creates a very large Canada goose issue for New Jersey.
More Geese Than Space
Although densely populated, New Jersey is small in area relative to many other states. Needless to say, the burgeoning goose population (80,000 plus) severely stresses NJ’s carrying capacity. This is demonstrated in several ways. Among them:
- Damage to farmland and agricultural crops
- Corruption of pond, lake and river ecosystems
- Aircraft strikes
- Spread of disease through excessive droppings
Because of the economic losses, environmental degradation and general nuisance brought on by the geese, county and local governments struggle with public space municipal Canada geese control.
What Can be Done?
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to minimize Canada goose presence in the Garden State is to stop feeding them. Often, the food shared with them is not healthy for the birds, making their droppings even more toxic. Clear signage and consistent enforcement can shrink the swarms that seek free edibles from human feeders. Office buildings and businesses can likewise rethink their landscaping. Canada geese love lush, well-manicured lawns while shying away from taller, native grasses.
When avoidance is not feasible or ineffective, town administrators may have to go to the source. The stark reality is that Canada geese begin their reproductive work at two years of age. Given the fact that they can live up to a quarter-century, this is a lot of eggs to lay. One solution is to destroy both the nests and the eggs. A drawback to this, however, is that the geese will breed again by instinct. Addling the eggs, i.e. chemically treating them so that they will not hatch, is a reasonable alternative since the geese will continue to incubate the eggs through the breeding season. Again, only those parties registered with the USFWS can legally take such measures.
Chemical repellents and aversion agents like Anthriquinone help to keep geese out of and away from certain areas. These are short-term treatments since they do little to reduce the species numbers. Of course, lethal options like hunting, depredation and euthanasia are employed when the numbers threaten to overwhelm a region.
The good news is that professionals are available to deal with the geese by the most effective means and in just the right proportions. Freeholders and council members can rest assured that experts will remove the problem in a comprehensive and humane manner.