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Goose Dog Mama Canada goose management program
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In house Canada goose management program:

In some areas, as needed, individual site contracts work well, where a handler comes in with their dog, and hazes the Canada geese off a property on a schedule. However, for the organization that is managing multiple properties, an in-house program would something to seriously consider. The development of such an in-house Canada goose control program would need to include:

Stabilization of resident goose populations:
  • Develop and maintain an aggressive, coordinated egg oiling program. Including promoting egg oiling on private properties, helping out where needed.
  • Use volunteers vs paid crew. Many communities in the Atlantic Flyway are using volunteer teams, another hires USDA crews as control of an invasive species. Adult geese without goslings are easier to quietly move out of conflict areas.
Designating goose exclusion zones:
  • Establishing a zero tolerance policy for these zones—playing fields, picnic areas, parks, walkways and playgrounds. Use of Border Collie teams, remote control boats, lasers and proven landscaping to deter geese from these areas. Areas that are especially sensitive or high conflict with people / children can include repellent applications, especially in the winter.
  • Work with Colorado Division of Wildlife towards being able to use trained goose dogs during the summer months. Not to bother them on nests, but for moving geese out of high impact areas, once the goslings have all hatched, then to deter the geese from walking their goslings into exclusion areas. Other states are doing this successfully, and thus easing the conflicts with summer time human activities.
Locating and designating goose safe zones:
  • Sanctuary locations: open space with low impact on people, water near by. Open space areas, where water and vegetation is designed to welcome and provide safe foraging, during nesting and molting. Dogs are not allowed, except working goose dogs on the perimeter, to keep the geese & goslings in the sanctuary area.
  • Equipment: kayaks/paddle boats, RC boats.
  • Vehicles, including small carts.
  • Record keeping.
Institute a strict no-feeding program: Any geese that do remain or visit from time to time should not be encouraged to concentrate in areas. Geese will congregate where food is easy to find. So more geese will stay more persistently where people offer handouts.
  • Enforcement?
  • Design of signage.
  • Public Relations opportunities.
  • Education.
Commit to public awareness: Providing news articles and other educational PR to surrounding communities, civic groups and schools.
  • Brochures, flyers.
  • Speaking to groups.
  • Website.
  • Interviews, with newspapers, etc.
  • Articles to newspapers.
  • Booths at local fairs, etc.
Staff, vehicles and dogs:
  • Clearly marked and visible to public.
Goose Dogs:
  • Locating and purchasing dogs:
    • Define qualities, training: Willing to swim, know certain commands such as flanking, recall, walk up, stand. Proven goose dog.
    • Negotiating with dog’s trainers.
  • Locating and hiring handlers:
    • Define qualifications, previous experience with dogs, knowledge of geese and the areas.
    • Train handlers:
      • Handling the dog.
      • Care and feeding of the dog.
      • Plan on eventually being able to train dogs for future handlers.
      • Set up with a local trainer to work dogs on sheep for continued training of dogs and handlers.
      • Take on ‘students’ from other organizations around the state.
  • Dog care:
    • Housing and daily care of dogs. Absolutely need a home environment during off hours.
    • Health care for the dogs, establish a veterinarian for regular care and emergencies.
    • Continued training on sheep.
    • Extracurricular activities, fetch.
Address the question of “Where will all the geese go?”
  • Either include a service to surrounding property owners,
  • Or promote an independent service.

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