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The Complete Guide To Protecting Geese

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The Complete Guide To Protecting Geese in Your Community

Our goose coalition is poised and ready to defend geese from harm.

In this resource, you will learn:

What YOU Can Do to Stop a Goose Roundup in Your Community

If you hear of a roundup in your area, do your best to contact us right away! The sooner we hear about an upcoming roundup, the more we can help you. But please do reach out even if it’s at the last minute! 

Was there a roundup in your area last year? Then, it’s very likely the contract will be repeated annually. We can help you plan for the next year if the roundup was already done this year. In the meantime, you can follow these steps to stop goose roundups in your community. 

  1. Find other people who oppose killing and form a group of interested community members who are willing to be actively involved. When you start to meet, identify everyone's skillsets and abilities, and choose a leader to coordinate activities. 

  2. Find out if a kill contract has been signed or who is supports killing geese and immediately publicize this information.

  3. Submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the killing contract, which contains key details including the cost, method, and number of geese killed.

  4. Put together a humane management plan to present to the community leaders. Contact our coalition for help! The plan is similar to a business plan, which can be expanded and adjusted every year.

  5. Immediately find out about town council/community meetings and attend them regularly. Circulate your humane management materials to councilmembers and suggest your group as a sub-committee to advise on humane goose management. Approach councilmembers as allies with a more successful solution to a shared problem rather than as adversaries looking for a fight.

  6. Educate your community and recruit new group members via distributing flyers, tabling at events, and offering PowerPoint presentations during community meetings. You can table at fairs, schools, colleges, houses of worship, condos, and apartments. Ask your local public access television station to help get your message out.

  7. Set up a social media page for your group. Private, strategic, or sensitive information should only be handled through emails, personal messages, or phone calls in case someone from the opposition joins your group.
     
  8. Write a media release and arrange for media coverage via media calls. A sympathetic local media contact is a fantastic asset to your cause! Contact our coalition to help you write and send the media release.

The good news is that humane goose management works! With a plan in place that combines landscape modification, population control, and a clean-up strategy, you can save geese in your community. Our Humane Goose Management Guide contains specific details to share with local decision-makers. 


Humane alternatives to lethal goose roundups

  • Restore habitat, plant taller grasses, and use FlightTurf*
  • Create a "tolerance zone" for geese away from human activities
  • Relocate young resident geese to areas with migratory geese so they learn to migrate, a strategy employed in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Purchase sweeper machines or hire employees to remove goose feces with minimal investment
  • Combine sonic repellents and herd dogs
  • Allow local predators to reduce goose populations naturally (raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, crows, snakes, snapping turtles, hawks, eagles, and owls eat goose eggs and sometimes prey on goslings and/or adult geese)
  • Train local volunteers in egg addling for population management
  • Try new egg oiling methods, like leaving one or two eggs un-oiled so geese won't reproduce again in the same season
  • Rent or purchase a Goosinator, a remote-controlled decoy designed to harmlessly chase geese from your property

*FlightTurf® is patented live turf grass seed technology that is designed to protect wildlife through environmentally sustainable, renewable, and kind methods and processes. FlightTurf reduces mowing, weeds, and attraction to wildlife in areas where wildlife is in harm’s way.


Slaughterhouse Legal Complaint Process

If you can't stop a goose roundup, you can file complaints against the slaughterhouse that illegally process goose meat from the round-up. Potentially hundreds (if not more) of unsuspecting buyers of ground beef, sausages, and other processed meat products are put at risk by illegal goose slaughterings because the meat grinders that process goose meat are hard to sanitize/completely clean and are later used for meat stemming from domestic sources. This is the reason why it is illegal.

  • Call up several smaller meat establishments around the areas of goose round-ups, approximately up to 100 miles around.
  • Ask them whether they would process the Canada Geese that your community (give a fake name) is planning to round up.
  • Get the name of the owner(s), look up their license with USDA (public record), and then investigate whether they are, or have been, processing wild-caught geese illegally.
  • If you can record the conversation or, if illegal in your state, document it ( e.g. several witnesses listening in to your conversation) you have a strong base for a criminal complaint.
  • The USDA is the agency that issues licenses (i.e. "poultry license") for meat establishments. You can request a list from USDA since it is public record.


How to Help Injured Geese

When trying to rescue an injured goose:

  • Start with a net.
  • If at all possible, you should always try to have at least three people to help with capture. Three people can surround the goose better than one or two people. With three people, you will be able to block the goose from the water if he is onshore.
  • When attempting to catch the goose, do not hesitate. Geese are well aware of their surroundings. especially if they are injured. If you hesitate, they will run or fly to nearby water. Once the goose is captured, wrap him in a towel or sheet, so his wings can’t hurt you if he tries to escape. Use a medium-to-large dog crate, a large box with air holes, or a Rubbermaid tub to transport the goose safely and comfortably.
  • Contact your state Department of Natural Resources for a Wildlife Rehabilitators list. If your state does not have a list, try an online search for "wildlife rehabilitator near me," or request help on social media. You can also search for an avian veterinarian.
  • Many times, geese will have broken wings or "angel wing" (a wing that sticks out and is shredded), or they might be missing a foot or leg. Although these injuries are usually permanent and can't be fixed, geese can survive with them. Find a predator-proof place or sanctuary where they can receive care and safe haven.
  • If you need to keep the goose for a day or two, please give him/her food and water. Purchase "scratch" or cracked corn and a layer pellet from your local feed store. Mixing the scratch and layer pellet will provide the goose with the proper nutrition. If the goose is a baby (gosling), give him/her a starter or grower crumble. Supplement their diet with chopped romaine, green leaf, red leaf lettuce, or turnip and dandelion greens. Avoid Iceberg lettuce which has no nutritional value. Some geese like dried mealworms as well.

This is a basic overview of how to help an injured goose. If you have questions or need further help, please contact us at geese@idausa.org.


Signs To Help Geese

  • “Nesting Geese Nearby.” In March and April, signs could warn humans that there are nesting geese nearby and to remember not to approach a nest and to give the prospective parents their space.
  • “The Newlyweds.” In January and early February, geese choose lifelong mates. That is why you see so many “twos” suddenly flying in pairs. These geese are engaged! The geese mate for life so it is a very big deal when a gander selects a partner.
  • “New Babies!” In late March, April and May, signs could denote the new families with photos of the youngsters, and handouts on how to approach the families.
  • “Annual Summer Goose Molt.” Memorial Day through mid-July, geese are temporarily grounded about a month until new wing feathers grow in. Signs would remind people that the geese can’t fly. Parents with goslings also can’t leave until the goslings are ready to fly. You will also see the parents lead their goslings in practice flights, wings outstretched, encouraging the babies to learn how to get off to a running start.
  • “Please do not harass or chase geese or ducks.” Whenever waterfowl are in the area, it’s important to remind people not to harass or chase them. This includes preventing companion dogs from chasing or attacking geese and their families.

The above list of signs was prepared by journalist and goose advocate Mary Lou Simms. 


Community Awards

Our coalition disperses special awards to honor or call out communities based on their decisions to protect or harm local resident Canada geese. 

  • Happy Honk - Honorable mention on social media and in a media release for a good deed toward geese
  • Gander Slander - Ethical citation on social media and in a media release for choosing lethal over nonlethal goose conflict resolutions
  • Goose Savior - Certificate awarded to an individual for going above and beyond the call of duty to save geese
  • Golden Goose Humane Community Award - The highest honor for an outstanding humane approach to resolve conflicts with geese via letter, certificate, social media spotlight, and media release


More Steps You Can Take To Protect Geese

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