Canada Geese Are Pooping All Over LaSalle So The Borough Is Using Dogs To Evict Them
Canada geese are creating piles of trouble in Montreal's LaSalle borough so authorities are using dogs and remote-controlled devices to compel them to fly elsewhere.
Gabriel Chevrefils, LaSalle's division chief of Permits and Inspection, told Narcity the birds have become a public nuisance, threatening the city's playgrounds, lawns, golf courses and waterways with their poop.
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LaSalle's urban goose population has been on the rise, according to the borough, a problem that could threaten biodiversity in the borough's parks if left unchecked.
“Our aim is therefore to control the goose population and to raise awareness of the importance of not feeding wild animals," said Chevrefils in an email interview.
To scare them away, a contractor is deploying specially trained dogs and remote-control vehicles as part of a goose management program.
What is the borough doing to control the Canada goose population?
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LaSalle's Canada Goose Management Program originally proposed culling the population by coating their eggs in mineral oil to sterilize them, but “this technique has not been chosen," assured Chevrefils.
Instead, from April to September, technicians with dogs and remote vehicles will be out working to chase off the birds.
“This technique is designed to scare geese away, without touching or injuring them," said Chevrefils, though they will not be deployed in the 30-hectare Parc des Rapides to protect its sensitive migratory bird habitat.
The borough is not sure how long it will take to fight the goose invasion, said Chevrefils.
“This autumn, the firm commissioned for this program will make recommendations for the coming years. Following this, we will make the necessary decisions."
How do geese populations increase?
[rebelmouse-image 26808480 photo_credit="Amelia Martin | Dreamstime" expand=1 original_size="4242x2828"] Amelia Martin | Dreamstime
Geese love cities because they're safe from predators, plus there's waterfront access, an abundance of grass to eat, and large parks available for them to nest in, explained Chevrefils.
But though they've adapted to — and even thrive in — the concrete jungle, at some point they get to enjoying city life so much that they move here full-time.
“When geese are successful in breeding in one location, it can be difficult to hunt them afterwards," said Chevrefils.
“Their numbers therefore tend to increase from year to year. Under favourable conditions, geese stop migrating and become year-round residents. The number of geese increases significantly, partly because the chicks return the following year."
Montrealers are not allowed to feed geese
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Chevrefils said you can do your part by not feeding geese, which can be detrimental to the health of the animals, and can also land you a hefty fine.
“This action constitutes a violation of the City of Montreal's bylaw on the supervision of domestic animals (punishable by a minimum fine of $300); encourages their overpopulation; causes a delay in migration and encourages their local establishment," he explained.
Feeding geese also "increases the presence of excrement on the grounds, particularly in Parc des Rapides; destroys the lawn and surrounding plants; and harms the health of the animal."