Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Goose management problem finds little solution

The Daily Journal/Samantha Weigel, 1/27/14. "Fowl foul:  Foster City struggles with managing geese and their ever-present feces."

"Foster City is known for and substantially invests in its numerous parks, but the neighborhood geese and their messy droppings are taking a toll on the city’s budget and serve as a point of frustration for both city officials and those who frequent the parks.

 Canada Geese and seagulls feed on the lush lawns near Lake Merritt. In the background is 86 year old Alexander Guden who feeds the birds bread every day.
 The City of Oakland wants Canada Geese to go back to Canada -- at least for part of the year. Several thousands of the geese have become fulltime residents, leaving their poop all over the place. But the problem is that the birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Act. Even if Oakland gets approval to chase away those unwanted Canada Geese, there is the risk of distrupting other migratory birds that stay at Lake Merritt, the nation's oldest wildlife refuge.
 Event in Oakland, CA
 Photo by Michael Maloney / The San Francisco Chronicle Ran on: 01-16-2006
 Canada geese and gulls feed on the lush lawns near Lake Merritt. Alexander Guden, 86, sits on the bench in the background. Ran on: 01-16-2006
 Bob Ney Ran on: 01-16-2006
You looking at me?
“First of all, the goose problem in the city is a problem that faces cities throughout the country and typically it’s around cities that are surrounded by water ... the goose issue has to do with the mess they leave behind and we live in a community that’s surrounded by parks,” said Kevin Miller, director of Foster City’s Parks and Recreation Department.

The city has about $25,000 budgeted annually for its goose management program and have tried everything from setting up fences to hiring a goose patrol team with a dog.“We’re well aware of the issues that we have, but again, I say it’s more of a goose management problem and it’s ongoing. We do invest a significant amount of time and funding to try and [manage] it. Because if we didn’t, our infrastructure would look horrible,” Miller said."  Read article.

Related - San Francisco Chronicle/Eileen Mitchel, Special, 10/7/06. "Making peace with geese/Bay Area prefers to discourage rather than destroy these prolific picnic party poopers."  "Ah, the lovely Canada goose. That symbol of grace, flight, freedom ... and feces? Stroll around any local lake, golf course or pond and that's what you'll find. Dodging the plethora of fist-sized goose poop is like tip-toeing across a mine field. Not surprising, since a single goose can produce up to 3 pounds of droppings (urine and excrement combined) per day. Multiply that times an average community of dozens of geese and you've got one gaggle of a conundrum."  Read article.   Note:  photograph from this article by Michael Maloney.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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