From People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals (PETA)
20-page PDF here
2. Managing Canada Geese Humanely and Effectively
3. Options for Nonlethal Canada Goose Control
5. Contact Information for Further Assistance and Products and Services
The Canada goose has become a part of America’s natural landscape, signaling the changing of seasons and bringing nature closer to home. Although many people enjoy the sights and sounds of the familiar “V” formations flying overhead, others are unhappy about the number of Canada geese in some urban areas. Until relatively recently, Canada goose populations were in sharp decline. Native Americans and Canada geese lived together harmoniously for thousands of years, but egg harvesting, overhunting, and the destruction of wetland habitats by European colonists led to shrinking flocks, and by the early 1900s, Canada geese were disappearing along with many other species of wildlife. Efforts to preserve Canada geese resulted in the establishment of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. This act offered some protection from hunters and harvesters, and Canada goose populations also benefited from the creation of protective refuges and changes in landscape—particularly, the creation of large, open grassy areas. Populations recovered slowly, but Canada geese proved to be highly adaptable to urban and suburban habitats, making new homes in close proximity to humans.
State governments helped restore goose populations by rounding the birds up during their annual molt, at which time they cannot fly, and transporting them to other states to establish new breeding populations. By the mid-1990s, this relocation effort ceased to be a viable option. Some people viewed the growing goose population as a “nuisance,” and the government commenced a program of rounding up and slaughtering geese while they were flightless.
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