Goose egg control program starting 13th year in Okanagan
With spring well underway, the Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program started its annual campaign of egg addling this week.
The program’s goal is to “prevent explosive growth of the non-migratory resident goose population,” according to the project co-ordinator. In 2018, the program reportedly located 343 nests and addled 1,390 eggs.
The program is now in its 13th year. Since 2007, the program says it has located 3,417 nests and has addled 16,179 eggs.
“We do not expect every goose to hatch and become an adult,” said Kate Hagmeier, Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program (OVGMP) project co-ordinator.
“We estimate somewhere close to 12,000 geese have been humanely prevented from adding to the population. Not to mention all their offspring.”
WATCH BELOW (Aired Feb. 25, 2018): Canadian geese culled in West Kelowna
According to the OVGMP, 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 OVGMP says the process is supported by the U.S. Humane Society.
Once addled, the OVGMP says the eggs are returned to the nest, where geese will continue to incubate until they realize the eggs will not hatch.
By then, the OVGMP says it’s generally too late in the year for geese to produce more eggs.
WATCH BELOW (Aired Aug. 3, 2017): 2 Canada geese found shot with arrows north of Toronto, expected to live
The program notes the geese being targeted are not native to the Okanagan, adding they were relocated from elsewhere in Canada and the U.S. as part of a managed introduction program.
The OVGMP says “what was not foreseen was their ability to adapt and thrive in the mild Okanagan climate and their inability to migrate because they had no parents or natural triggers to guide them.”
“The consequences have been a steadily growing population with few natural controls and a need to manage this population.”
The program says its key to success is finding new nests. The public is asked to report lone geese, pairs of geese, or nest locations on private or public land by emailing email@example.com or calling 1-877-943-3209.
The program is also asking the public to keep away from goose nests and to avoid touching eggs.
Information about the program is available here.
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.