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.
Designating goose exclusion zones:
- 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.
- 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.
Locating and designating goose safe zones:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- Vehicles, including small carts.
Commit to public awareness:
Providing news articles and other educational PR to surrounding communities, civic groups and schools.
- Public Relations opportunities.
- Interviews, with newspapers, etc.
Staff, vehicles and dogs:
- Booths at local fairs, etc.
- Clearly marked and visible to public.
- Locating and purchasing dogs:
- Define qualities, training: Willing to swim, know certain commands such as flanking, recall, walk up, stand. Proven goose
- Negotiating with dog’s trainers.
- Locating and hiring handlers:
- Define qualifications, previous experience with dogs, knowledge of geese and the areas.
- Train handlers:
- 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.
Address the question of “Where will all the geese go?”
- 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.
- Either include a service to surrounding property owners,
- Or promote an independent service.