Vernon OK's Canada goose cull as number of birds grows

City approves goose cull

Non-native, resident Canada geese in the North Okanagan have overstayed their welcome.

Vernon city council has approved a motion to spend an estimated $41,000 to euthanize up to 150 birds in area parks.

Coun. Dalvir Nahal says she's been flooded with letters of support. Nahal says the province should get involved because most municipalities have similar concerns.

An Okanagan goose management program estimates about 2,500 resident birds nest between Vernon and Osoyoos – but 70 nests were found around Vernon last year, up from an average of 20.

The federal and provincial governments must approve any cull before it can proceed.

Non-native Canada geese were first introduced in the Okanagan in the 1970s and quickly outnumbered the few migratory geese that stopped during their annual journeys.

Experts say the migratory geese don't usually interbreed with residents, which can live for up to 30 years, produce more offspring than their migratory cousins and never leave the area where they are raised.

Coun. Scott Anderson, who supports a cull, says the geese are affecting the use of many parks and beaches in Vernon.

“To me, this is an unpleasant duty, but it’s a duty," says Anderson. "Kin Beach is unusable, Marshall Fields are just covered in manure, and Polson Park is unusable."

Council plans to write to other Okanagan communities that don't have control measures, urging them to take steps to curb goose populations.

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