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Growing flocks of Canada geese in Vernon, B.C., prompt city council to approve a cull

Click to play video: 'Vernon Goose Cull' Vernon Goose Cull
WATCH: Some consider the geese that flock to local parks and beaches in Vernon a nuisance. They believe the birds are simply foul: aggressive, dirty, and a threat to crops. The City of Vernon has been trying to deal with the Canada Goose population by using scare tactics and egg addling - but now it's planning to go further. This week City Council approved a pricy cull. But instituting a kill program has become controversial. Megan Turcato has more. – Jan 28, 2021

Non-native, resident Canada geese in the North Okanagan have overstayed their welcome and Vernon council has voted in favour of a cull.

Councillors have approved a motion to spend an estimated $41,000 to euthanize up to 150 birds in several area parks.

Culling programs aimed at habituated deer have been strongly opposed in the past, but the councillor who proposed the goose cull says she has been flooded with letters of support.

Read more: ‘It’s unbearable’: Capital Regional District looks to take on Canada geese population

Coun. Dalvir Nahal says the provincial government should get involved because most municipalities have similar concerns about aggressive geese and the piles of excrement they leave behind.

A program set up to manage Canada geese in the Okanagan estimates about 2,500 resident birds nest between Vernon and Osoyoos, but 70 nests were found around Vernon last year, up from an average of 20.

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The federal and provincial governments must approve any cull before it can proceed.

Click to play video: 'Canada goose cull in West Kelowna' Canada goose cull in West Kelowna
Canada goose cull in West Kelowna – Feb 26, 2018

Non-native Canada geese were first introduced in the Okanagan in the 1970s and quickly outnumbered the few migratory geese that stopped during their annual journeys north and south.

Experts say the migratory geese don’t usually interbreed with residents, which can live for up to 30 years, produce more offspring than their migratory cousins and never leave the area where they are raised.

Click to play video: 'Would you eat a Canada Goose?' Would you eat a Canada Goose?
Would you eat a Canada Goose? – Jul 3, 2019

Coun. Scott Anderson, who supports a cull, says the geese are affecting the use of many parks and beaches in Vernon.

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“To me, this is an unpleasant duty, but it’s a duty,” says Anderson.

“Kin Beach is unusable, Marshall Fields are just covered in manure and Polson Park is unusable.”

Vernon council now plans to write to other north Okanagan communities that don’t have control measures, urging them to take steps to curb populations of resident Canada geese.

— CKIZ

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