Efforts continue to keep the Okanagan’s Canada goose population from expanding.
The Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program is resuming for its 11th year.
“Although some may argue that too many geese still live in the valley, what has not happened, thanks to addling, is uncontrolled growth that would see more than 10,000 geese and generations of offspring, if addling were not in place,” said Kate Hagmeier, program co-ordinator.
The nesting population, which is about 2,500 birds, remains in the valley throughout the year. Trained contractors have already been searching for pairs and nesting sites and are hoping to complete the addling program by mid-May.
“It is important to stress that the nesting birds targeted in this program are not native to the region,” said Hagmeier.
“These are hybrid offspring of several different subspecies of Canada geese that were introduced in the 1960s and ‘70s. Canada geese from elsewhere in Canada and the U.S. were translocated here as part of managed introduction programs. Young geese and eggs were brought here to encourage the creation of an Okanagan goose population.”
However, the geese did not migrate and they have thrived in the mild Okanagan climate.
Egg addling involves shaking eggs or coating them with non-toxic biodegradable food-grade corn oil within 14 days of incubation to make them non-viable.
“The U.S. Humane Society supports this egg addling technique,” said Hagmeier.
Once addled, eggs are returned to the nest. Geese continue to incubate until they realize the eggs will not hatch. By then it is generally too late in the year to produce more eggs. Adults are not harmed and will continue with their regular life cycle.
The public is asked to report lone geese, pairs of geese, or nest locations on private or public land by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-877-943-3209.
Information about the program is available at okanagangooseplan.com.