Spring is here, and the migration of Canada geese back to the Okanagan means the need to keep their population stable.
The Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program (OVGMP) has begun its annual egg addling, an important step in maintaining healthy water resources in the area and controlling contamination.
Addling is a method that involves either shaking goose eggs or coating them with non-toxic, biodegradable corn oil within 14 days of incubation to make then non-viable. The mother goose will then continue to incubate the eggs until they realize that they will not hatch, which is usually too late in the season to lay more.
The OVGMP says that there any many animal welfare organizations that support the program, and that no geese are harmed.
“It’s important to note that these are generations of offspring of several different subspecies of Canada geese that were introduced in the 1960s and 70s,” said Kate Hagmeier, program coordinator. “Canada geese from elsewhere in Canada and the U.S. were moved here as part of managed introduction programs and would not naturally be nesting in this region otherwise. This addling program only targets these invasive species.”
The program has been running for 16 years, and plays an important role in keeping the local goose population under control. Over 21,000 eggs have been addled over that time, resulting in approximately 11,000-16,000 geese from entering the population.
The public is asked to help by reporting nest locations across the Okanagan to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-877-943-3209.
The program will run until mid May.