PAWS Magazine

Issue 58, Summer 2004

Seattle Goose Program off to a Great Start

Earlier this spring PAWS, in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), reached a landmark agreement with Seattle Parks and Recreation. This agreement established a moratorium on the "lethal removal" of Canada geese from Seattle city parks for the years 2004 and 2005. It laid the foundation for the Seattle Goose Program, a cooperative project that seeks to replace the yearly killing of geese in public parks with a comprehensive set of humane goose-management methods.

The launch event, May 20th, for this community-based program included the first application of a goose repellent called FlightControl® PLUS to the lawn at Seattle’s South Lake Union Park. Prior to the application, volunteers held a work party to clean the park of goose droppings. Most local media outlets covered the event, and their positive stories helped spread the news about this innovative project. Many thanks to the volunteers who pitched in to start the program off with a bang!

In addition to demonstrating the usefulness of repellents, the Seattle Goose Program is showing that our region’s animal lovers have the willingness and know-how to solve human-wildlife conflicts. The program features three teams of trained border collies who (along with their human guardians) shoo geese out of the most problematic areas and toward less densely populated parts of Puget Sound. Volunteers also use Avian Dissuader® lasers to discourage geese from spending their nights on swimming beaches.

The dog and laser components of the program have already decreased the level of goose droppings at the pilot parks, Matthews Beach, Madison Park, and Gas Works Park, where they have been deployed.

Volunteers on the clean-up crews at the pilot parks serve as goodwill ambassadors for the program. Many park users have expressed thanks to our volunteers for helping to beautify parks while showing that humans and urban wildlife can peacefully coexist. Most Seattle residents have long opposed killing geese, preferring effective humane alternatives for goose control. This humane pilot program can only succeed with the sustained involvement of our volunteer community, and you are invited to join us! For more information about volunteering, please email geese@paws.org.

Special thanks to the distributors of FlightControl PLUS® for their support of the Seattle Goose Program.

 

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