Goose poop problem prompts Abbotsford to turn to bird birth control

Council endorses plan to addle – shake – eggs of geese to curb exploding populations in local parks

The City of Abbotsford has a new plan to deal with the explosion of the goose population at Mill Lake and other parks.

The City of Abbotsford has a new plan to deal with the explosion of the goose population at Mill Lake and other parks.

The City of Abbotsford hopes bird birth control will slow the growth of the city’s burgeoning geese population.

The city will hire a contractor to addle – shake – eggs at four Abbotsford locations to prevent them from hatching as part of a plan to address the growing number of geese.

Read the full plan here.

Between May of 2015 and 2016, the number of geese counted at Mill Lake doubled. Expansion of farming, protection from predators in suburban and urban areas and adaptations by the geese have all led to dramatic increases in bird populations across the country.

In Abbotsford, the number of geese in popular parks meant the city “was not providing an exceptional customer experience to visitors,” according to a city report, with feces being the primary problem.

Currently, the city attempted to control the birds’ habitat through fencing and other initiatives, while cleaning up the abundant waste. That is labour intensive, however, and last year, the city spent nearly $20,000 on goose management.

On Monday, council gave the go-ahead for the city to hire EBB Environmental Consulting to put into action a plan to try to address the geese population issue.

The plan will cost $26,591 and include data collection and population modelling. It will also see egg-addling enacted at four sites: Mill Lake Park, Albert Dyck Memorial Park, Willband Creek Park and Fishtrap Creek Trail/Ellwood Park fields.

Egg-addling has been used in the past, although the process was stopped in 2009 for budgeting reasons.

A report says addling has to be part of a “multi-faceted goose management program to be successful.”