U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



The Journal of Wildlife Management 76(3):600–607; 2012; DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.293


Canada geese (Branta canadensis) can cause serious damage to turfgrass areas and create human health and safety concerns (e.g., collisions with aircraft, disease transmission). We conducted a study during 2005–2007 to determine if Canada geese exhibit a feeding preference among various commercially available turfgrasses. Behavioral responses of captive geese to 9 turfgrasses, bare ground, and litter were observed over 6 4-week trials during July–September following the installation of selected turfgrasses into experimental arenas. Captive geese preferred to forage on Kentucky bluegrass, creeping bentgrass, and fine fescue sods compared to centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, and zoysiagrass. Forage qualities and macronutrient levels varied among the turfgrasses and might explain the foraging preferences geese exhibited during this study. Canada goose feeding rate was positively correlated with crude protein, nitrogen content, and calcium, but negatively correlated with acid detergent fiber content, within various turfgrasses. Our findings suggest careful selection of turfgrasses could be an effective method for reducing Canada goose conflicts in urban and suburban areas.