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5 Ways Geese are Wreaking Havoc and How Vancouver is Looking to Control Them

geese in vancouver

Photo: Mindfuel Photography / Flickr

Green grasses or geese? We apparently can’t have both.

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation is taking action to reduce the numbers of Canada geese populating city parks, beaches, and the seawall.

The public’s help is needed to control this issue, however. If you are wondering what issues they are causing, we are running down 5 major reasons why it’s cause for concern.

RELATED: 5 Weird Facts About Stanley Park That You Probably Didn’t Know About

5 Problems with Canadian Geese in Parks Today

The geese are starting to have a negative impact on park habitats as they are:

  1. Eating young grass in newly seeded fields and lawns, causing damage.
  2. Digging holes with their beaks around sprinkler heads when trying to drink water causing tripping hazards.
  3. Defecating on benches on grass fields where people are playing, therefore getting on people.
  4. Polluting outdoor swimming pools.
  5. Becoming aggressive during mating season.

The goose poop is problematic beyond the obvious grossness. For one, it can cause giardia in dogs that accidentally eat it. Also, because of their inefficient digestive tract, they produce more than their average size so it’s impossible for parks to keep areas clean.

In terms of public safety, geese do bite. A women living next to Granville Island reported, “when they have goslings they are vicious. I know two people who were bitten.”

geese in vancouver
Photo: @TedMcGrath / Flickr

Thousands of Geese in Vancouver

To put it into perspective, The Vancouver Park Board estimates that there are more than 3,500 Canada geese in Vancouver with the population growing. With no natural predators this can go up even further.

They tend to congregate in grassy clearings such as: Stanley Park, English Bay and Sunset Beach, Trout Lake, False Creek, and VanDusen Botanical Garden. However, there are also reports of them nesting on roofs and balconies of private and public buildings.

How You Can Help

The Vancouver Park Board is asking for public to help in two major ways:

  1. Help locate and remove nests or addle eggs

The parks use egg addling, something that is in place in the early 1990’s. This approach to limiting population growth is supported by the BC SPCA and PETA. The challenge has been locating the nests. To report geese nests please email [email protected]

2. Refrain from Feeding the Geese

Feeding geese contributes to population growth and causes them to congregate. It also can lead to geese being able to lay more than one clutch of eggs per season, without food from humans, this won’t happen.

The Park Board will be looking into the possibility of banning feeding geese.


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