2014 Egg Addling Program Press Release

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 8, 2014

 

Egg addling controls goose population 

 

In the continued effort to control the Canada Goose population in the Okanagan, the Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program is initiating its annual egg addling program. Now in its eighth year, this program has prevented the exponential increase of the non-migratory resident goose population that inhabits the valley year round.

 

Most communities in the valley struggle with management of these non-migratory Canada Geese. They are largely the descendants of non-native species of geese that were brought here from different areas of Canada in the 1960s and 1970s to encourage the creation of an Okanagan goose population.

 

What was not foreseen was their ability to adapt to and thrive in the mild Okanagan climate and their inability to migrate because they had no natural parents to teach them how. As a result, the number of geese has grown with few natural controls, creating a need to manage this population.

 

The Okanagan Valley Goose Management program works to control the reproductive output of Canada geese, particularly in public spaces. Trained contractors identify mating pairs and nesting sites and will complete the addling program by the end of May.

 

Key to the success of the program is finding the new nests. The public is asked to assist by reporting lone geese, pairs of geese, or nest locations on private or public land by emailing coordinator@www.okanagangooseplan.com or calling 1-877-943-3209. The public is also asked to keep away from goose nests and to avoid touching the eggs.

 

The Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program 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, Town of Lake Country, Town of Osoyoos, Town of Oliver, District of Peachland, District of Summerland and Glenmore Ellison Irrigation District.

 

Information about the program is available at okanagangooseplan.com.

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For more information, contact:

 

Kate Hagmeier

Project Coordinator

1-877-943-3209

coordinator@www.okanagangooseplan.com

 

 

Backgrounder

 

Egg Addling

 

The egg addling program 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. At this point, it is generally too late in the year to produce more eggs. Adults are not harmed and will continue with their regular life cycle.

 

During the past seven seasons, approximately 8,000 eggs have been prevented from hatching through this minimally invasive approach. Taking into account natural mortality of young through predation or nest failure, that is equivalent to approximately 6,000 fewer geese in the valley and all their potential young.

 

A special permit is required to perform egg addling, which has been secured from the federal government allowing crews from EBB Environmental Inc. and Wise Wildlife Controlto addle goose eggs on public and private lands with the owners’ permission. In the case of private lands, an authorization form is available on the program website.

 

Other Research

 

In addition to egg addling and population surveys, a grant from the Western Canada Turfgrass Association in 2012 contributed to a leg-banding program.  Bird-banding is the practice of applying unique markers (bands) to the legs of birds. When a marked bird is observed by a birdwatcher or recovered by a hunter, data on age, survival, habitat use and migratory patterns can be retrieved and analyzed.

 

The data will help improve the understanding of the population and how different birds use the valley.

 

Geese and Swimming Water

 

Interior Health continues to encourage local governments throughout the Okanagan to reduce the risk of recreational water contamination from sources such as geese.  A swimming notification program was implemented by Interior Health in 2006. Since then, no beach advisories have had to be issued due in part to the combination of activities to protect beaches and beach water areas.

 

More Information

 

For more information about the program, visit okanagangooseplan.com, email coordinator@www.okanagangooseplan.com or call 1-877-943-3209.

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