Following the first round of the program in 2019, the Borough is repeating the program in 2021 to curb the increase in the Canada goose population.
The presence of large numbers of Canada geese is a source of nuisance for sports and recreational activities in the Borough’s parks. The problem is the same everywhere: the accumulation of faeces. In addition to these inconveniences, the geese trample the shoreline greenery and compete with other bird species that have difficulty finding suitable sites to nest in peace.
What is a Canada goose?
The Canada goose is a migratory bird that is increasingly present in urban areas. It feeds exclusively on plants on open ground with good visibility and sufficient space for their flight. It looks for young shoots in spring and seeds left on the ground in the fields in the fall. It is also attracted to well-maintained lawns with short grass, especially those near bodies of water.
What is the problem?
In recent decades, Canada geese populations have increased at an extraordinary rate, to the point where they are now causing damage and nuisance problems in some urban areas. This is the case in LaSalle, mainly along the waterfront, in Parc des Rapides and Parc Marie-Claire-Kirkland-Casgrain. The increase in urban goose growth is due to several factors:
- The development of sites that attract them to settle in there (large parks, retention basins)
- Easy access to bodies of water
- No predators (urban parks are protected against predators and hunting)
- Abundance of food (maintained lawns, food provided by humans)
When geese successfully reproduce at a given location, it can be difficult to chase them away after that. Their numbers therefore tend to increase from one year to the next. Under conditions that are favourable to them, geese stop migrating and become residents there all year round. The number of geese is significantly increasing, partly because the chicks return the following year.
In addition, if the rapid growth of the goose population is left uncontrolled, it can contribute to the decrease in biodiversity along Parc des Rapides.
Start of control program
To limit the presence of these waterfowl, the Borough has awarded a contract to a specialized firm to set up a Program, while ensuring sustainable, ethical practices in this regard. The designated team from this firm is working closely with LaSalle’s animal patrol and Héritage Laurentien’s naturalists, who are responsible for managing Parc des Rapides. Beginning in April, trained dogs and remote control devices will be used to scare geese away without touching or injuring them. Please note that this technique will not be used in Parc des Rapides in order to protect the migratory bird sanctuary.
Can we feed the geese?
Under no circumstances should you feed a wild animal. Such an action:
- is in violation of Ville de Montréal’s Règlement sur l’encadrement des animaux domestiques (Animal control bylaw) and is subject to a minimum fine of $300
- contributes to their overpopulation
- results in delayed migration and encourages them to settle in locally
- increases the presence of excrement on grounds, and particularly in Parc Des Rapides
- causes the destruction of lawns and surrounding plants
- and damages the animal’s health by causing major health problems that even prevent them from flying