Cheektowaga’s annual effort to keep the local population of Canada geese in check, before nature can take its course, is about to begin.
Monday night, the Town Board approved a resolution to have the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services Division administer its Canada Goose Management Program at a cost of about $4,985.
Teams from the USDA will be heading to Stiglmeier Park to treat goose eggs with corn oil to prevent them from hatching. The first of three site visits was to have occurred last weekend, but was delayed because the amount of snow on the ground, according to Councilman Jim Rogowski.
Pairs of egg oilers will approach goose nests. One person, armed with a large umbrella, will keep adult geese at bay while the other person oils the eggs – a process known as addling. It’s been done in the town for approximately 10 years.
“They do all the work,” Rogowski said. “We just pay for them to manage it and do the work.”
A migratory species – at least in theory, the Canada goose is protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. An order issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorizes registered landowners and local governments to destroy resident Canada goose nests and eggs on their property from March 1 through June 30.
The process requires the application of appropriate nonlethal methods to minimize the extent to which eggs must be destroyed, according to the USDA.
“We do everything that is humane – not only for the animal but the best interest of everyone that is affected by this,” Rogow-ski said.
During the first five years the management program was in use at Stiglmeier Park, the number of geese went from upwards of 700 to less than 100, the town’s facilities director reported in 2008.
Rogowski said Monday night that the egg-oiling process continues to be successful in restricting the goose population, although he didn’t know to what degree.