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Goose Program

A single Canada goose can: 

  • eat up to 1.4 kg of grass a day
  • damage 0.5 square metres of turf every day
  • produce more than 0.5 kg of feces every day

Therefore, when a large population of Canada geese inhabit an urban park:

  • grass can become damaged by trampling and consumption
  • feces pose health concerns to park users
  • feces & feather droppings can harm water quality

How is the City dealing with unwanted Canada geese in parks?

News Release, June 26, 2013

workers rounding up geese into a truck  

Our Goose Control Program is operated in Bay Ridges Kinsmen Park, Progress Frenchman's Bay East Park, Alex Robertson Park and Bruce Hanscombe Park. There are 2 components:

  • egg oiling
  • goose round up

We hire experienced contractors to closely monitor geese within Pickering, and to consult on responsible methods of control.

Egg oiling

With a permit from the Canadian Wildlife Service, trained contractors search common breeding areas, and place a vegetable-based, biodegradable oil on the eggs within 10 days of them being laid. This prevents the egg from developing and hatching.

Goose round up

Geese in specific areas are rounded up and relocated to an approved host location using a climate-controlled transport trailer. The round ups occur when the geese are molting and cannot fly away. They are also done early in the morning when the temperatures are cooler and there are few people in the park, to reduce stress to the birds. Goslings (baby geese) and their parents are not rounded up. No geese are harmed during this process.

A round-up requires a permit from the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS).  The City of Pickering's round ups are performed by Toronto and Region Conservation.  Data from CWS indicates that only about 15% of the relocated birds will return to area. In June 2011, 98 geese from Pickering were rounded up and relocated.

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