Blaming geese?

So the City of Parksville wants to cull the geese because they are causing harm to the estuary.

So the City of Parksville wants to cull the geese because they are causing harm to the estuary.

What plans does the city have to deal with the other species that are harming the shoreline? Will they be culling the folks at the RV resort or tearing down the houses and resorts that line the coast?

The natural processes of ecological balance have long been compromised; not by some birds, but by that worst of invasive species, us.

Blaming only the geese for a disrupted habitat is like blaming the seals for the collapse of the Eastern cod fishery. The province of B.C. sanctions wolf culls, as though wolves are to blame for the demise of the woodland caribou. The caribou are highly sensitive to boreal forest habitat disruption, which has systematically been destroyed by massive pulp and paper development, the oil and gas industries and mega dam projects. But, yeah, let’s blame the wolf.

We have created the goose population explosion. Canada geese prefer areas that have short, tender grass and shorelines with easy access to and from the water. These conditions are often present in the Parksville urban setting with our manicured lawns and golf courses.

The best geese control programs combine three methods: limiting flock growth by egg addling, humanely frightening geese so they decide to leave on their own and changing the habitat so it isn’t attractive to geese.

I have read the reports and know the city has tried some other alternative methods, but a cull is not the answer. Killing of geese is a temporary and expensive (just ask the Capital Regional District) ‘fix’ as it just leaves room for another flock to move in.

Let’s think long-term, multi-layered solutions and not jump to the gun.

Julie AustinCoombs

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