The annual goose egg addling program is getting underway.
Trained contractors have been hired to find nesting pairs and and deal with their eggs.
The addling processes involved shaking eggs or coating them with a non-toxic biodegradable food-grade corn oil within 14 days of incubation to make them non-viable.
The eggs are then returned to the nest where the geese will continue to incubate them until they realize the eggs won’t hatch..
By then, it’s usually to late in the year to produce new eggs.
The adult geese are not harmed.
It’s estimated over the past 10 years, more than 13 thousand eggs have been prevented from hatching.
Taking into account natural mortality of hatchling, it’s estimated that’s the equivalent of 10 thousand geese in the valley.
“Like so many communities in southern BC, communities along the Okanagan Valley struggle with management of non-migratory Canada Geese,” said Kate Hagmeier, Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program Coordinator.
“It is important to stress that the nesting birds targeted in this program are not native to the region.
These are hybrid offspring of several different subspecies of Canada Geese that were introduced in the 1960’s and ‘70’s.
Canada geese from elsewhere in Canada and the US were translocated here as part of managed introduction programs.
Young geese and eggs were brought here to encourage the creation of an Okanagan goose population.”
What was not foreseen was the inability of these geese to migrate because they had no parents or natural triggers to guide them, and their ability to adapt and thrive in the mild Okanagan climate.
The consequences have been a steadily growing population with few natural controls and a need to manage this population.
Key to the success of the program is finding new nests. The public is asked to report lone geese, pairs of geese, or nest locations on private or public land by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-877-943-3209.
The public is asked to keep away from goose nests and to avoid touching the eggs.
A federal permit is required to allow crews to addle goose eggs on public and private lands with owners’ permission.
In the case of private lands, an authorization form is available on the program website.
You can get more information on the program and where to report nest locations at okanagangooseplan.com