Vegetable oil combats bird population
In an effort to eliminate bird droppings, Monterey
city in California is smothering goose eggs with vegetable oil.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has permitted the city to addle or
oil-coat Canada goose eggs in nests for the past five years with the aim of
stalling bird population growth.
The city now operates under a federal resident Canada goose nest and egg
depredation order, issued to landowners and managers of public properties to
manage resident Canada geese â€” defined as those that nest in the lower 48 states
during the months of March through June or live there from April through August
â€” to prevent damage to or contamination of land.
The order does not authorise the killing of any migratory bird species or
destruction of any nests or eggs other than those of resident Canada geese.
City park superintendent Doug Stafford said that the dropping are so large,
and the volume of droppings is so great, making it unpleasant for people to go
to the park. "You really have to watch your step," he said.
The goose flock has become a familiar sight at El Estero. Stafford says
that they don't seem to be going back to Canada.
The city spends about $6,000 each year for a dog to harass the geese into
moving, Stafford said, but using corn oil to smother the eggs is much cheaper.
Neutralising the eggs reduces the population, but doesn't eliminate
them. "We don't find them all," said Stafford.
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