Date of this Version
Canada geese (Branta canadensis) in the Reno-Sparks, Nevada urban area have become a problem of increasing significance. Nuisance complaints from city parks, golf courses, and housing developments augment the bird hazard to aircraft operations at the local airport. Eleven goose collisions with commercial aircraft, between January 1986 and April 1989, caused $250,000 in structural damages but no injuries or loss of human life. The Federal Aviation Administration required action be taken to reduce the hazard if airport certification was to continue. A multi-agency task force was formed to develop and implement an integrated pest management plan. Population surveys and daily observations were conducted to quantify the problem and evaluate results of control methods. Short term controls included disruption of roosting and feeding sites adjacent to the airport, hazing, public education, and gosling relocation. Development of a suburban goose refuge was proposed as a long term control. Long term management ramifications of this integrated approach were improved agency services to constituents, vigor of the local goose population, and quality of life for people through mutual coexistence with the birds.