Posted June 18, 2009
Dear Humanitarian in Michigan:
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently announced their plan to kill hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Canada geese this summer to reduce human-goose conflicts in the state. This would be the first time Michigan has taken such extreme measures in roughly a decade.
For years, wildlife officials have been employing means, such as harassment and relocation, to manage the geese. However, due to complaints from residents and a lack of relocation sites, they have now decided to round up and kill some of the birds, despite the fact that the population is within the Wildlife Division’s desired statewide goal.
Instead of killing these animals, Michigan should encourage citizens and businesses to make their properties less inviting to birds through habitat modification, fencing and harassment. The presence of dogs, for instance, is a persuasive deterrent. Population control through egg addling – the process by which eggs are removed from the nest, embryo development is stopped, and the egg is then returned to the nest – is another effective and humane strategy that reduces flock growth.
As a resident of Michigan, please speak up for Canada geese. Tell the DNR that lethal removal is not an effective long-term strategy, and that the removal of these birds will likely only invite others to fill the niche, so long as those environments are left as suitable habitat.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Please write to the DNR and request that it immediately halt plans to trap and kill Canada geese in Michigan, and instead ramp up its efforts to non-lethally control goose populations and educate residents. Be sure to request a response back on this issue to ensure that your position is not ignored.
Russ Mason, Wildlife Division Chief
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
530 W. Allegan St.
Lansing, MI 48933
Please share our “Dear Humanitarian” eAlert with family, friends and co-workers, and encourage them to contact the DNR, too. As always, thank you very much for your help!