Update April 2022
Vernon is once again looking for contractors and a permit from the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) to conduct an unscientific “kill-to-scare” program in response to ongoing conflict with geese. We have taken steps to raise awareness of this proposal by placing a full-page ad in the local newspaper, writing with our concerns to the CWS, releasing a media statement, and encouraging residents to contact mayor and council in opposition to a kill-to-scare program. This is the strongest course of action residents can take to discourage more short-term lethal measures, while encouraging non-lethal methods of co-habitation such as habitat modification. Thank you for helping us fight these unnecessary and unscientific lethal programs.
After the Canadian Wildlife Service choose not to approve the permit for the Vernon Goose Cull, Vernon city council has proposed a new targeted killing of what they call the “dominant geese” to scare other birds away from problem areas.
Animal Alliance is opposed to this course of action by Vernon council, as there is no evidence to suggest there are “dominant geese.” They may take turns as leaders when flying to conserve energy, but no science indicates dominant geese exist in their groups. Furthermore, the geese will be molting and unable to fly when the killing will likely be done. While flying geese may be deterred by seeing a dead goose below, when landbound it will not have the same effect.
In response to the city’s new efforts to conduct a kill and scare program, we have issued a press release opposing their proposed targeted cull.
It has been reported that the permit application for the Vernon goose cull has been delayed and will not be ready for this year. We believe that our letter to the Canadian Wildlife Service, our ad in the Vernon Morningstar, and our dialogue with council contributed to the cull being delayed at this time as we showed the weaknesses of the proposal.
We took out a full page ad in the Vernon Morningstar condemning the goose cull and asking residents to contact mayor and council. You can view the image of the ad here on our Facebook page.
Read our recent press release coverage on the issue: Animal Alliance Opposes Vernon’s Planned Goose Cull.
The Animal Alliance of Canada encourages Vernon city councillors to reconsider their recent motion to approve culling 150 Canada Geese at a cost of approximately $41,000.
Animal Alliance recognizes that conflict currently exists between geese and residents in Vernon over shared land use. However, culls are not effective, humane, or reliable methods of co-habitation with wildlife. They historically lead to the need for further culls and create substantial division in the community.
Last year, the Animal Alliance of Canada sent Vernon city councillors a copy of their Habitat Modification Goose Manual when the issue of a proposed cull first arose. They did not receive a reply from a single councillor. We have resent this manual recently and did receive acknowledgement of the document from a couple of councillors.
The Animal Alliance of Canada Goose Manual describes ways to co-habitat with geese by making areas of conflict less desirable for them to congregate. Geese are naturally open tundra nesters who prefer low-vegetation near open water. Changes as simple as planting shrubs or tall grasses to block sightlines in open fields or along water lines can make a significant difference to their presence in these areas.
Animal Alliance of Canada also prepared and submitted to Vernon mayor and council the following analysis of the proposed Vernon goose cull, entitled: Okanagan’s Flawed Goose Management Strategy. You can read it here.
What you can do
We urge the council members of Vernon, BC to direct their city’s staff to fully explore habitat modification as explained in the manual. Culling might appear to be a cheaper solution for now. But wildlife populations bounce back quickly, making culls short term solutions that need to be repeated again and again if permanent habitat adaptation with plantings and design are not adopted.
You can use the contact form provided below to send our message to Mayor Victor Cumming and Councillors.
Dear Mayor Cumming and Councillors:Please reconsider the plan to cull Canada Geese in your community. I recognize that some mitigation measures have been attempted, such as egg addling and other measures. However, as long as the habitat remains attractive to Canada Geese they will surely return, and population numbers will quickly rebound.
Culling is a short-term solution that only appears to be cheaper. Please direct civic administration to review a manual titled: “Habitat Modification and Canada Geese” to better understand that investing the $40,000 approved for the cull into plantings of tall grasses and shrubbery would contribute to a more long lasting solution.
Signed (your name)
Please include the link to the manual in your message: https://www.animalalliance.ca/…/Goose_Manual-Habitat…
Here is the contact form for the Mayor and Councillors of Vernon, BC.https://www.vernon.ca/gove…/contact-directory/city-council
Animal Alliance of Canada
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