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Annual goose-egg hunt serious business

Reduces wildlife numbers on roads

Geese and their goslings create a hazard for motorists as they wander among traffic.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Enlarge Image

Geese and their goslings create a hazard for motorists as they wander among traffic.

What's good for the motorist isn't good for the gander -- but it does reduce the number of wildlife collisions.

Jim Leafloor, a member of the Urban Goose Working Group, said city, provincial and federal staff, supplemented by volunteers, have completed the removal of 1,547 Canada goose eggs from 326 nests beside and near Kenaston Boulevard.

"There's a lot of traffic in that area," Leafloor said Wednesday.

"If they stayed at FortWhyte (Alive) it would be great, but they don't. They go on the roads and make a hazard.

"It could be said if we didn't do this, that with 650 adult geese and about 1,500 goslings that there could have been 2,000 geese on the roads."

The UGWG began taking eggs from nests to reduce traffic problems on Kenaston as a pilot project in 2011. That year, 1,071 eggs were taken from 212 nests, followed by 682 eggs from 111 nests in 2012 and 900 eggs from 255 nests last year.

Leafloor said because there were still so many geese and their goslings on Kenaston last year, this year they expanded their egg-removing efforts further down Kenaston Boulevard, all the way to Waverley Street and Bishop Grandin Boulevard, and west and east on Sterling Lyon Parkway.

He said they currently aren't removing eggs anywhere else in the city, but they are monitoring Lagimodiere Boulevard where it passes Kilcona Park.

"We only remove eggs where it's a public safety concern," Leafloor said. "We're not removing geese eggs from areas where the problem is goose droppings."

Leafloor said in order to remove the eggs, they first had to get a federal permit allowing them to do it and then get permission from the property owner or manager.

But Leafloor said what Manitoba Conservation has found is the geese they remove eggs from are not first-time visitors.

"It's the same geese coming back," he said. "Manitoba Conservation is monitoring the bands on the birds. It's because they have high survival rates and they are not susceptible to hunting because they're in the city."

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

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