Updated 05/23/2012 06:37 PM
Curbing the geese population
A group of geese stopping traffic isn't just inconvenient. Department of Environmental Conservation officials say an overpopulation of the birds also poses a public health risk. YNN's Erin Clarke tells us what can and is being done to curb the population growth.
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ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- Signs of a nagging problem in New York State.
D.E.C. officials say the Canada goose population has tripled the state's goal of 85,000 pairs.
"They've grown to be super abundant based on our very productive nesting conditions, abundant food and habitat," said Department of Environmental Conservation Wildlife Biologist Tom Bell.
The Onondaga County Parks Department is dealing with the influx of geese by employing tactics advised by the D.E.C., like letting the grass grow high. Taller grass makes it difficult for geese to get at the more nutritious stems and then there are scaring methods.
If you come across one of these at Onondaga Lake Park, it's pretty easy to tell that this is a wooden cut out of a dog and behind me that's a fake coyote, but the geese don't know that.
"A lot of the geese just can't quite make out what they are when they see them from a distance. It looks very remarkably like a dog from a distance," said Onondaga County Parks Commissioner Bill Lansley.
Coupled with the high traffic in the park, the commissioner say these methods are working. But the situation is much different in East Syracuse where shoppers at Wal-Mart share parking space with dozens of the birds.
"In terms of the private landowner, our hands are much more tied and it would be on the landowner to get a special permit for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service."
A management plan is then drafted. Additional options could include egg interruption and intentionally thinning out the flock.