Vancouver Island University and the City of Nanaimo are teaming to develop a management plan for Canada geese.
The geese damage playing fields and are conflicting with humans, according to the city.
Stew Pearce, a VIU grad who examined migratory patterns of geese while in university, is on contract with the city and is carrying on his undergraduate work with the VIU Canada Goose Project.
With volunteers assisting, 400 Canada geese received a white collar on their neck, as well as metal bands on their legs to allow for tracking, according to a university press release. The banding allows for an estimation of population numbers and determination of migratory patterns that can be used for management.
A majority of Canada geese in Departure Bay were resident geese, which typically have more success breeding due to the fact they don’t expend much energy in migration, Pearce said in the release. It appears geese situated in Nanaimo River estuary are more migratory, he said.
“In the first year of the study 200 geese were collared,” the press release said. “Data suggested that the summer population of Canada geese in the Nanaimo area ranged from about 500-700 geese, while the winter population swelled to about 1,600 to 1,800. Approximately 30 per cent of the geese stayed in the Nanaimo area throughout the winter, while another 30 per cent migrated from the area.”
The city employs a goose egg addling program and regularly scares geese away from fields, said Dean Mousseau, city manager of engineering and environment, in an e-mail, but while there was a geese cull in Parksville, the city said there has been no discussions with council about a local cull.
“At this point staff are waiting until the data collection and compilation of the data has been completed before the development of a management strategy will be undertaken,” Mousseau said.