Okanagan goose egg-addling program returns

Goose egg-addling returns

The Okanagan's annual goose management effort is getting underway for another year.

The Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program is about to start its annual egg-addling program, which is designed to manage non-migratory Canada geese.

Geese are overpopulated in the region, increase the risk of water contamination and foul beaches and parks.

"Egg addling involves shaking eggs or coating them with non-toxic, biodegradable, food-grade corn oil within 14 days of incubation to make them non-viable," says program coordinator Kate Hagmeier.

The eggs are then returned to the nest, where geese will continue to incubate until they realize the eggs will not hatch, usually too late in the year to produce more.

"This population control method is supported by many animal welfare organizations. Geese are not harmed by the practice and will continue with their annual life cycle," says Hagmeier.

The goose management program says the key to the success of the addling program is finding and accessing new nests. They are asking the public to report lone geese, pairs of geese, or nest locations on private or public land by emailing [email protected] or calling 1-877-943-3209.

While reporting these sightings is encouraged, the public is asked to keep away from nests and to not touch eggs.

“These Canada geese were relocated here from other parts of Canada and the U.S. as part of controlled introduction programs and they would not be nesting in this region naturally. This addling program only affects these introduced species,” says Hagmeier.

The egg addling program is responsible for preventing the goose population, estimated at 2,500 birds, from getting out of control.

This is the program's 17th year and more than 22,500 eggs have been addled, which equals an estimated 11,500 - 17,000 geese not entering the population, not including the thousands of offspring those geese could have hatched over the years.

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