The Daily Courier

Vernon votes to cull geese


Non-native, resident Canada geese in the North Okanagan have overstayed their welcome and Vernon council voted in favour of a cull this week.

Councillor­s have approved a motion to spend an estimated $41,000 to euthanize up to 150 birds in several area parks.

Culling programs aimed at habituated deer have been strongly opposed in the past, but the councillor who proposed the goose cull says she has been flooded with letters of support.

Coun. Dalvir Nahal says the B.C. government should get involved because most municipali­ties have similar concerns about aggressive geese and their excrement.

A program set up to manage Canada geese in the Okanagan estimates about 2,500 resident birds nest between Vernon and Osoyoos, but 70 nests were found around Vernon last year, up from an average of 20.

The federal and provincial government­s must approve any cull.

Non-native Canada geese were first introduced in the Okanagan in the 1970s and quickly outnumbere­d the few migratory geese that stopped during their annual journeys north and south.

Experts say the migratory geese don’t usually interbreed with residents, which can live for up to 30 years, produce more offspring than their migratory cousins and never leave.

Coun. Scott Anderson, who supports a cull, says the geese are affecting the use of many parks and beaches in Vernon.

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