Canada geese have become a problem in many B.C. communities.

Central Saanich awaits report on geese cull

Wildlife management means culling because of overpopulation.

Canada geese. They’ve been a modern success story for wildlife management — right up to the time when they became too successful.

That’s certainly the case in Central Saanich where this year a pilot program to cull up to 300 of the iconic birds took place in the last week of June and the first week of July.

“We’re not quite certain of how many birds were taken during the cull, but we authorized up to 300. We’re just awaiting the final report on the process and its relative success,” said Ryan Windsor, Mayor of Central Saanich.

The geese have now completed molting and the time for a cull has passed. “You have to get them while they are molting…while they are flightless … it’s really the only time that it can happen.”

While Canada geese were once in serious decline, the actions of various wildlife agencies and governments have caused a rapid and significant increase in their numbers which are now estimated at nearly six million in North America.

In Canada, they are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, although in recent years the Canadian Wildlife Service has issued special permits to use acceptable detent techniques like the removal of potential nesting sites, egg sterilization or, as was the case in Central Saanich, the direct culling of birds.

 

“The geese have become very destructive,” said Windsor. “They foul our parks and waterways, and the damage that they do to crops can be very significant. That’s especially important in municipalities like ours where agriculture still plays an important role in the economy.”

Part of the problem, according to Jeff Lynka, Parks Supervisor for the City of Penticton, is that the geese that are the greatest nuisance are the descendants of geese re-introduced to B.C. in the 1960s and 1970s.

Those geese were brought into the region as eggs and goslings and had no natural parents to teach them to migrate. As a result, they simply stay in place, becoming an ever increasing problem.

“In the Okanagan, in 2005, several municipalities got together to address it as a regional problem,” said Lynka. “Every municipality also has its own plan but we try to coordinate as much as possible.”

That’s the approach that Windsor hopes to see on the Peninsula and in Greater Victoria. “

The CRD Planning Committee recently heard all the information on wildlife management,” said Windsor. “That included not only Canada geese but other nuisance species like beaver and a few others.”

The hope is that the CRD will establish a Wildlife Management Service as part of its operation to provide a coordinated and consistent approach to the management of these species.

“I’ll be pressing hard for a regional solution to this problem,” said Windsor. “It’s not just an issue for Central Saanich … it’s something we all have to deal with. It’s important that we do it right.”

 

 

Just Posted

Banquo Folk Ensemble serenades Sidney

20 into performing, the ancient music ensemble visits the Peninsula

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

Const. Sarah Beckett’s family honoured on Remembrance Day

Victoria Mountie was killed in the line of duty April 2016

Provincial housing boss brought home more than $350,000 in 2017-18

BC Housing develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options

Greater Victoria bike sharing company looks to lock out thieves, vandals

U-Bicycle has lost about 10 per cent of its fleet to theft and vandalism

Throw a snowball to help kids at BC Children’s Hospital

Effort will raise money for sick kids over the holidays

128 people died of illicit drug overdoses in B.C. in September

The province is on track to record the same or more overdose deaths this year as last

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

The U.S. is seeking broad international support for the next-generation space station to send into orbit a in 2021

B.C. Lions GM Ed Hervey has plan for busy off-season

The Lions’ season ended Sunday with a crushing 48-8 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Division semifinal

Fundraising firefighters complete quest for B.C. Paralympian

The four Penticton residents raising money for Victoria Paralympian complete journey

PHOTOS: Hockey history in B.C. as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

B.C. man wanted in connection to domestic assault in Edmonton

Sterling Miles Booker has ‘ROCK’ and ‘ROLL’ tattooed on his hands

Vancouver Island teen aims to build a bionic arm

Prosthetic prototype project latest in Nanoose student’s math, tech ambitions

Most Read