With the population of Canada geese along Montreal’s LaSalle shoreline dramatically increasing over the years, the borough has come up with a unique plan to counter foul consequences.
In the warmer months hundreds of geese and their droppings are scattered across the greenspace, and as a result residents say they are unable to use the park.
“A lot of our citizens complained because of the hygienic situation the geese present on the shore,” said Nathalie Hadida, of LaSalle Registry and Citizen Relations.
From April to September the LaSalle borough will work with urban wildlife company, Artemis Faune, to manage the situation. Experts will use dogs and even remote-controlled cars to try to gain back the greenspace near Park des Rapides.
“The idea is to basically chase the geese around without harming them, so that they don’t feel welcome in the environment,” she said.
Part of the borough’s plan includes a public awareness campaign — one of the biggest problems is people feeding the geese.
“You get like 50 or 60, or even more goslings running after people that bring them bread,” said Héritage Laurentien biologist Jacques Duquette, noting that the bread is not actually good for their diets.
Hadida added people who feed the animals can get fined.
“The animal patrol will be patrolling and issuing fines this year to make sure that people understand that they’re not supposed to feed the wildlife,” said Hadida.
Héritage Laurentien has worked in the area for years, focusing on co-habitation. Duquette says relocating the birds from such a favorable environment will be difficult.
“The geese like it here because, first of all, it’s open — there’s easy access from the water up to here; and well, obviously there’s food everywhere,” he said.
He said he’s not sure the plan will prove successful until taller vegetation is planted along the shore to prevent geese from coming into the greenspace.
“Areas where we can see the water, where we can see the river, where people can stop and look at things, then we’re going to have to live with the geese. It’s a trade-off.”
Duquette says residents may have to just get used to sharing the space.