The Englishman River estuary in Parksville

Is it time to cull geese in Parksville?

Experts tell city council Canada geese are destroying the Englishman River estuary

Death sentences may be the only way to stop the destruction of the Englishman River estuary by Canada geese, Parksville city council heard this week.

Tim Clermont and John Cooper of a group called the Guardians of Mid-Island Estuaries appeared before council Monday night, asking for $8,000 to continue their addling program and to develop a management strategy. The group was granted $25,000 by council three years ago for roughly the same tasks.

Cooper said the the geese — not native to the area but introduced here in the 1970s — are “causing tremendous destruction of our local estuaries. The Englishman has been hit really hard.”

Cooper explained, and showed photographic evidence, of the habitat destroyed by the geese and spoke about its effect on native species, including salmon.

The addling program — basically shaking the eggs in their nests and making them sterile while often having to fend off angry geese parents — has had positive effects in other areas like the Little Qualicum River estuary, but not the Englishman.

“I don’t understand how we can addle the amount of eggs we have and still have more and more geese in the (Englishman) estuary,” said Clermont.

The Guardians said their goals are to get the goose population stabilized so they can work to restore the estuary.

“It’s going to be difficult to bring the numbers down without some sort of a cull,” said Cooper, an ornithologist.

Coun. Al Greir weighed in.

“Many Parksville residents are very frustrated with the present situation,” said Greir. “Here we are three years later with too many geese. It’s hurting our parks.”

“You have said culling is the best option, so why don’t we cull them?”

A cull would require a permit from the federal Ministry of Environment — Canada geese have special protection.

“I think the city and the Regional District of Nanaimo are in a position to go to Environment Canada and get a permit and cull some birds,” said Cooper. “It’s not the Guardians that need to lead that process.”

Cooper also said many other communities in southern B.C. have been dealing with Canada geese issues for years. He said killing the birds through a cull has been a difficult decision for many communities because they are “afraid to do anything significant because of the backlash from the public.”

Council made no decision Monday night on applying for a cull. Council also referred the Guardians’ request for $8,000 to its budget deliberations.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Decor details: Professional rental and design businesses deliver it all

Stop by the Comox Community Centre today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.!

Ballenas Whalers football players honoured after stellar high school seaosn

Chomolok, Rykers earn most valuable player accolades

‘Elizabeth Little Waterfront Park’ proposed in Qualicum Beach

It was first announced in 2018 that St. Andrews Lodge would be turned into a public space

RDN budget talks to include public consultation results

Director not impress with level of engagement

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read