Friday, July 28, 2017

Goose Control Measures Finally Implemented

Fairhope, Alabama


After years of debate, measures to reduce the Canada goose population are finally being implemented at the city's municipal beach: solar powered flashing lights (click) have been installed in areas where they may spend the night, intended to disturb sleep and encourage migration elsewhere.

The grass in the area is being allowed to grow higher too (geese prefer eating new green shoots), a measure recommended by the city's Environmental Committee chairman -- and 'please do not feed' signs are to be erected soon, according to the mayor.


The new ordinance prohibiting feeding any "wild fowl" on public property that was passed by the city council two weeks ago went into effect yesterday; fines could range from $1 - $500 in municipal court.

Unsanitary fecal pollution of the park, duck pond and adjacent bay water has been a problem for many years, but many citizens have resisted control because feeding the animals has always been a "family tradition" here.

According to web sources, experts disagree on whether the bacteria being monitored in the bay (enterococcus) is actually present in goose feces -- but the other bacteria carried by the geese may be harmful as well.

According to its website, Canada geese are still on the federal endangered species list and cannot be harmed in anyway -- without authorization from the Fish and Wildlife Department.

Additional control methods were discussed by the mayor and city council but we do not know if they have been implemented.

The Times could find only five Canada geese today, and about a dozen of other types of fowl; quite a few seagulls were present though.

('Wild fowl' is defined as a wild game bird, especially a goose, duck or quail.)

Few Canada geese today


Anonymous said...

Better lock them up.
Some body is sure to steal them.

Giorgi di Lemis said...

Lock them up? what the heck does that mean? Let them live. We can not treat every animal like it is a varmint.

Anonymous said...

I think they meant lock up the lights.

Anonymous said...

Aww, so sweet. bless there little goose hearts.

Anonymous said...

"According to its website, Canada geese are still on the federal endangered species list and cannot be harmed in anyway -- without authorization from the Fish and Wildlife Department."

This is very wrong. The Canada goose has never been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, though the Aleutian Goose has. But it was de-listed a long time ago and has never been seen in Fairhope. Who is the Fish and Wildlife Department? Perhaps you mean the Canada goose is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. That is true. Very true. But so are mockingbirds, crows, and gulls. Pretty much every local bird is listed under the MBTA except pigeons, starlings, and house sparrows, which are not native. Private citizens do need a permit to kill birds protected under the MBTA.

Publisher said...

See Canada goose question, under nuisance heading:

Anonymous said...

From what I have read, the Bay is being polluted by the sewer system, not by the geese. I agree that the geese should not be hand-fed b/c they need to remain able to fend for themselves, but it appears that Fairhope is deluding itself by blaming wild birds for the corrupt government and weak infrastructure.
What will we blame it on when the sewage is running down Magnolia to the Bay?

Publisher said...

"All species of Canada geese are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; however, if you are a landowner, homeowner’s association, public land manager, or local government in the lower 48 states or the District of Columbia, you may be able to register for federal authorization to destroy resident Canada Goose nests and eggs on property under your jurisdiction."

Publisher said...

A scientific study commissioned by the city in 2012 concluded the bay bacteria came from both human and animal sources.

Anonymous said...

Not exactly hi tech are they?

Anonymous said...

Fairhopians will still complain about it. If not about the goose poop then about the investment in the lights.

Anonymous said...

Fairhope is always blaming someone or something other than Fairhope. How do you determine goose poop from seagull or fish poop? My opinion is that it is human waste Killing the geese years ago did not solve the problem. The geese are innocent , the real problem is Fairhope