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Testing the effect of the Goose population in Blackfalds

posted on Apr 9 2020

Blackfalds, Alberta (April 9, 2020) – Please be aware that the Town has installed small solar beacon lights in McKay Ranch to test the effect on the Canada Goose population.

If proved successful, the Town believes this is the most humane way to maintain the geese population and reduce the possible threat to those using our parks and playgrounds.

These lights will temporarily disable their nighttime defense to spot predators. If geese can't spot predators, they can't defend themselves and will not sleep. If geese cannot spot predators or sleep, they will move to another location where they can find security.

The solar-powered, weather proof, lights charge during the day and flash 360 degrees at eye-level of the geese.

The discussions around geese has been one of many throughout the past couple years, increasingly after multiple residents contacted the Town with concerns regarding their safety and the safety of their neighbourhoods. One family was unable to leave their home due to the presence of very aggressive geese.

The issue was brought to the Recreation, Culture and Parks Board multiple times, with administration researching alternative solutions to deter the geese away from high traffic areas - as geese can be very territorial and dangerous.

Discussions were had with Alberta Animal Services, Medicine River Wildlife Centre and Canadian Wildlife Service. Options received included the culling of eggs, entrapment and relocation, habitat alteration and deterrents. Many of these solutions did not align with the Town's values.

The goal is to not decrease the population. The ultimate goal is to deter geese from nesting in our high traffic areas and encourage them to build their homes in areas that are not often used by our community.

We would like to reiterate that this test is only being done in McKay Ranch, is temporary, and will not be introduced in other parks until further research has been done.

Please address all concerns and questions to parks_facilities@blackfalds.com