VICTORIA – Feb 09, 2021: 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.
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.
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.
Jordan Reichert, West Coast Campaign Director for Animal Alliance, stated that in many communities culls are the only option considered by city council because killing the animals appears to be the fastest and cheapest solution to conflict. However, it rarely resolves the conflict and often leads to year after year of further culls as the populations bounce back.
“Instead of addressing the source of the conflict, which is how we design our communities to be appealing to Canada Geese, the geese are wrongly targeted as the problem and suffer for our lack of evidence-based problem solving.”
Barry Kent MacKay, Animal Alliance Director and bird expert, says “There are many examples of municipalities in Canada that had similar problems and resolved them with creative, non-lethal habitat modification techniques. Creating a solution for Vernon is certainly feasible, if Council is willing.”
Animal Alliance is encouraging the Vernon city council to go back to the drawing board and give serious consideration to habitat modification as a long-term, humane and cost-effective approach to co-habitat with geese prior to moving forward with any short-term culls.
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
Contact us to help us fight this inhumane cull.