Date of this Version
Expanding populations of resident Canada geese that remain in suburban and urban areas year-round often result in increased conflicts with humans. Non-lethal and humane means are needed for managing the size of Canada goose flocks residing near or on airports, golf courses, industrial parks, government sites, and city parks. A side effect of nicarbazin, a veterinary drug used to control coccidiosis in chickens, is decreased egg production and hatching. Exploiting this side effect, studies of nicarbazin for reducing the hatchability of eggs from Canada geese were conducted. An initial study in Coturnix quail verified reduction in hatchability in a species other than chickens. Because plasma nicarbazin was not routinely measured, a study in chickens was conducted to determine the relationship between plasma and egg nicarbazin. A comparative study in chickens, mallards, and Canada geese showed that nicarbazin absorption was lowest in geese. Studies in both penned and wild Canada geese showed that reduction in hatchability was possible but neither study used bait suitable for general field application. Bait development led to the OvoControl-G® (Innolytics LLC) bait, which resulted in reduction in hatchability of 51% at treated sites compared to control sites in the field. Previous studies showed that nicarbazin is practically non-toxic and is environmentally friendly; timing and management of baiting will minimize non-target hazards. OvoControl-G® 2500 ppm nicarbazin bait is recommended for incorporation into a comprehensive management plan as a reproductive inhibitor for use in controlling resident Canada goose flock sizes.