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Goose egg addling program winding down after longest season ever

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June 03, 2016 - 9:00 PM

PENTICTON - The 2016 nesting season for geese in the Okanagan has turned out to the longest ever seen.

Kate Hagmeir, the manager of the Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program, says ususally the egg addling has wrapped up by late April or early May. This year over 320 nests were check, which she says was the most ever.

Hagmeir says her organization’s goose addling program began near the end of February this year and nesting sites are still being monitored.

The valley wide goose management program began in the mid-1990s in response to burgeoning populations of non-native, non-migratory geese that were proliferating in the valley.

Hagmeir says the geese were introduced as a conservation measure in the 1970s and never had an opportunity to learn migratory patterns. The geese are a hybrid of several stocks, and are considered a nuisance and health threat because they eat valuable crops, cause water contamination from goose droppings and pose a threat to aviation.

The goose management program offers public education and habitat modification to make goose habitat less attractive to the birds. A major part of the program is egg addling, which has been carried out by the organization for the past decade under strict guidelines.

Hagmeir says of 13,000 eggs addled over the years, 50 to 75 per cent of those might otherwise have hatched, effectively quadrupling the present valley population of 3,000 geese.

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