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Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program Continues to Control Goose Population

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Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program Continues to Control Goose Population

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5, 2020

Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program Continues to Control Goose Population
 
Goose management is more than just egg-addling. In the Okanagan Valley, it’s a comprehensive and cooperative approach by communities who share the vision and burden of minimizing negative impacts from introduced nesting geese. The goal continues to be about finding the balance between people and nesting geese using the valley.
 
The Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program (OVGMP) has been helping communities through actions such as public education, egg-addling, population monitoring, and working with regulatory agencies to ensure OVGMP management goals align with federal and provincial goals.
 
Kate Hagmeier coordinates the program and is careful to remind people “management actions are targeting geese that are not native to the region. These are hybrid offspring of several different subspecies of Canada Geese that were introduced in the 1960’s and ‘70’s.” Canada geese from elsewhere in Canada and the US were moved here as part of managed introduction programs.
 
Egg addling is a critical component of population management. It is the most minimally invasive form of population control. 2020 will be the 14th year of the egg-addling program which involves systematic surveys for nests, and egg-addling from Vernon to Osoyoos. This long-term program is largely responsible for preventing the goose population (which sits around 2,500 birds) from growing out of control. In the 13 years of addling, more than 17,000 eggs have been addled which equates to an estimated 10,000 to 13,000 geese not entering the population, not to mention the thousands of their offspring.
 
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. The U.S. Humane Society supports this egg addling technique. Once addled, eggs are returned to the nest. Geese continue to incubate until they realize the eggs will not hatch. By then, it is generally too late in the year to produce more eggs. Adults are not harmed and will continue with their regular life cycle.

But egg addling and nest surveys are not perfect; nests are missed, they could be in dangerous locations, or on private property. Key to success of the program is finding and accessing new nests. The public is asked to report lone geese, pairs of geese, or nest locations on private or public land by emailing coordinator@okanagangooseplan.com or calling 1-877-943-3209.
 
This year, however, is unique in many respects for everyone. We are all practicing the recommendations provided by public health authorities to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and that extends to our work on the egg addling program. Where we cannot access nests because they are in care residences and hospital environments, apartment patios or other locations that will not allow for physical distancing, we can still record the location data for future years. Knowing locations will also help us understand where sources of geese come from later in the spring and summer.
 
The public is asked to keep away from goose nests and not touch the eggs. A federal permit is required to allow crews to addle goose eggs. If a nest is on private land, a permission form to access the nest is available on the program website (www.okanagangooseplan.com).
 
Interior Health continues to encourage local governments throughout the Okanagan to reduce the risk of recreational water contamination from sources such as geese. OVGMP is a partnership between the City of Kelowna, Central Okanagan Regional District, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, District of West Kelowna, City of Vernon, City of Penticton, District of Lake Country, Town of Osoyoos, Town of Oliver, District of Peachland, District of Summerland, Westbank First Nation, Greater Vernon Water, and the District of Coldstream. 

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Information about the program is available at: www.okanagangooseplan.com
 
For further information, please contact the Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program or email  info@rdos.bc.ca.
  
For more information, contact:
Kate Hagmeier                                                           
Project Coordinator
1-877-943-3209                                             
coordinator@okanagangooseplan.com

Event date: 
Tuesday, 05 May, 2020
Archived
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While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this data, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with the Town of Osoyoos.   Town of Osoyoos
Box 3010, 8707 Main Street
Osoyoos, BC V0H 1V0
(TF) 1.888.495.6515
(T) 250.495.6515
(F) 250.495.2400
(E) info@osoyoos.ca

 

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