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Geese Control

The geese population has been steadily on the rise across Ontario and they leave behind quite a mess for municipalities to clean up.  

Please Don't Feed the Birds!

The City is working to improve beach water quality and our waterfront parks. You can help by not feeding birds, ducks, geese, gulls or swans. Here's why:

  • Bird poop can be a potential health hazard
  • Feeding can attract many birds, resulting in large amounts of bird poop in the grass, sand and water
  • Birds that are fed food scraps lose their fear of humans and become aggressive
  • Birds that eat food scraps do not get all the nutrients found in their natural diet. As a result, they may be less healthy and become dependent on people.
  • Most birds fly south in the winter to find other sources of food. Feeding birds may encourage them to stay here longer and rely on human food to survive.

Geese Management Program

The City currently undertakes a number of federally-approved geese prevention methods, including:

  • Dogs patrol
    These dogs are exempt from the Animal Control by-law as services are contracted with the City.
  • Avian dissuader laser light
  • Avian distress call
  • Marine and shoreline control
  • Pyro technics
  • Egg oiling

Effectiveness

Geese are wild species. The program helps control the population on Barrie's waterfront, but geese change their behaviours year over year in response to control measures. The contractor continuously monitors the number of geese along Barrie's waterfront. Below are reported measurements.

Year Average # of Geese Along Waterfront
April–November
2014 199
2015 60
2016 92
Note: >100 geese were relocated to Barrie during molt by an unknown party in 2016, and remained in Barrie for 2+ months (confirmed by Canadian Wildlife Service).
2014 average is based on baseline data available for August–November 2014.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are any geese harmed during the City’s Geese Management Program?

No geese are harmed by the City’s program. Trained and qualified staff under authorization of a Canadian Wildlife Service Permit use humane methods to move geese off of the waterfront parks and out into Kempenfelt Bay without harming the geese or goslings.

Is this a one-time program, or does it continue?

In 2015, the City awarded a three-year contract through an open competition for geese management services, and anticipate seeing geese populations on the waterfront to be reduced significantly from the pre-control state.

What does the City do to clean up all the geese droppings?

Parks staff use a sweeper to clean off the pathways on a regular basis, and a special machine to pick up heavy amounts on areas of turf.



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