File photo

File photo

Goose population program starts in Okanagan

Egg-addling programs continue from Okanagan Valley Goose Management Population (OVGMP)

The control of the geese population in the Okanagan has begun.

The 13th annual Canada goose egg-addling program started earlier this week. The OVGMP program looks to continue to prevent massive population growth of the non-migratory local birds.

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, a process that is supported by the U.S. Humane Society.

Since 2007, approximately 3,417 nests have been located and 16,179 eggs have been addled. “We do not expect every goose to hatch and become an adult,” said Kate Hagmeier, Okanagan Valley Goose Management project coordinator.

“We estimate somewhere close to 12,000 geese have been humanely prevented from adding to the population. Not to mention all their offspring.”

READ MORE: Geese continue to run amok at Okanagan park

READ MORE: ‘Zero’ effort being made to tackle invasive grey squirrels in Kelowna parks

Nesting geese targeted through the OVGMP are not native to the region. They are hybrid offspring of several different subspecies of Canada geese that were introduced in the 1960s. Canada geese from elsewhere in Canada and the U.S. were trans-located to the Valley as part of managed introduction program.

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.

READ MORE: ‘Planet of the Geese’: Okanagan city’s parks a muck with goose poop

Reports of lone geese, pairs of geese, or nest locations are asked to be directed to the OVGMP in order to have success in finding new nests, which can be found on private or public lands.

Email coordinator@okanagangooseplan.com, or call 1-877-943-3209 to report nests.

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