Sangster, Wildlife Biologist
Missouri Dept. of Conservation,
4750 Troost Ave,
Kansas City, MO 64110
May 22, 2003
Dear Ms. Sangster:
On behalf of our
2,000 Missouri supporters, we oppose any
lethal control methods used to manage the Canada goose population in
Missouri. Our experience has proven that non-lethal methods of goose
dissuasion are effective in the long term in addressing the problems
associated with the birds.
strategies for the control of Canada geese have been employed
successfully in other parts of the country. On July 2, 1995, the New York
Times reported on the goose control programs used by several New Jersey
towns. New Jersey has the densest population of both resident and
migratory Canada geese.
In Allendale, the
town has been using pistol noisemakers to scare off geese. Town employees
shoot off noisemakers early in the morning which frightens away the birds.
So far, it's working; no geese have been sighted in Allendale.
The town of
Demarest hung green flags around the Tenakill
Brook. Despite vandals tearing down some of the pennants, the goose
population has been cut in half, because the flags make the geese nervous.
Dow Jones and
Company Inc. started using two Border Collies in 1991 at their 175-acre
corporate headquarters. The dogs herd the geese into the pond and then
keep circling it. Frustrated because they cannot eat, the geese fly off.
Other towns have
used non-toxic chemicals that when sprayed on grassy areas that are
attractive to geese, renders the field either visually or tastefully
unattractive. As a result, the geese fly off to more friendly
geese spreading disease to humans through casual contact with goose feces
are unfounded. Dr. Timothy Ford, professor at the Harvard
states: "In my mind, there is no possibility that the Canada goose will
ever be a major route of (Cryptosporidium) infection."
geese are among the most misunderstood waterfowl. When the truth is told
it benefits the community as well as the geese themselves. Canada geese
mate for life. Mated pairs raise and protect their young together and
will also look out for one another for as long as they live. Those who
have spent time observing geese will tell you that these very emotional,
intelligent and extremely devoted creatures deeply mourn not only the loss
of their mates, but also the destruction of their eggs.
Geese are now part
of the suburban landscape and when we learn to co-exist peacefully with
them, it enhances our appreciation of wildlife and the natural world.
Lethal means of goose control merely divide communities and bring grief to
many citizens concerned with the humane treatment of wildlife. Please do
what you can to see that the Canada geese living in Missouri are
managed with non-lethal methods. If you need any assistance in
establishing such programs, please get in touch with us and we will assist
you in your efforts. Your reply will be greatly appreciated.