Date of this Version
Proceedings 18th Vertebrate Pest Conference, ed. R.O. Baker & A.C. Crabb. Published at University of California, Davis, 1998.
Urban Canada goose (Branta canadensis) populations have grown rapidly during the past three decades. This paper reviews short-term and long-term urban goose management techniques, and using data for the Twin Cities of Minnesota, assesses the potential utility of habitat modification. Ninety-four percent of Twin Cities damage complaints occurred during the brood-rearing period, 5% in fall, and >l% in spring and winter. The potential for reducing goose damage by altering nest habitat is insignificant, brood-rearing habitat high but expensive, and fall and winter habitat low and also costly. Fences effectively thwart flightless geese but can entrap birds leading to starvation. Cost projections for programs limiting the Twin Cities summer population at 25,000 were $125,000/year for relocation, $325,000/year for processing for human consumption, $12.3 million/25 years for wire fences, $33.9 million for tall grass prairie, and $1.8 billion for ground juniper (Juniperus spp.). Human preference for savanna and the fear of urban crime associated with dense vegetation may hamper implementation of goose habitat modification.