By U.S. ArmyJuly 14, 2011
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Personnel from Fort Drum’s Natural Resources Branch and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recently conducted a roundup of Canada geese in the cantonment area. Forty-one geese from three locations were captured.
Although there are limited numbers of geese in the cantonment area now, it is the goal of Fort Drum’s Fish and Wildlife Management Program to keep the population at a low level.
Goose populations can increase quickly if left unmanaged, which has become a common problem thro-ughout the United States, particularly in urban areas.
The presence of too many Canada geese creates nuisance situations, such as goose droppings on beaches, playing fields and sidewalks; depredation of gardens and agricultural crops; and potential bird-aircraft strike hazards.
Canada geese are well-adapted to survive in urban areas where all of their needs are met, including water, food and protection from predators. On Fort Drum, those needs are served by Remington Park and the many storm water retention ponds built to support construction throughout the cantonment area.
All waterfowl molt their flight feathers at one time, so they can’t fly for a few weeks every summer. The young geese (called goslings) haven’t grown in their flight feathers and can’t fly yet, so this is the one moment of the year geese can be captured relatively easily. The other reason for removing geese before the young geese fly is that they tend to return to where they first fledge (learn to fly).
Geese are typically caught by setting up a corral made of nets, with leads extending out to form a funnel. Several people walk in a line and herd the geese into the trap. Once trapped, the geese are captured and banded by state DEC employees and then transported to Training Area 17, where they were released unharmed at Matoon Marsh.
The first goose roundup in the cantonment area occurred in 2010 when 55 geese were removed.
Canada goose management in the cantonment area this year also included oiling eggs in nests. This process stops development of the embryo inside the egg, but not destroys the nest so the adults will not create a second nest. This spring, 25 eggs were oiled.
Canada geese are a protected species, so any harassment, oiling of eggs and removal of adults is done through coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state DEC.
The Fort Drum community should not worry if they enjoy having geese around. A few Canada geese remain in the cantonment area, and more will begin showing up in late summer and early fall when they begin migrating through the region.
For information, contact the Fort Drum Fish and Wildlife Management Program at 772-9636.
Fort Drum Fish and Wildlife Management Program