Vegetable oil combats bird population

08-06-2007 | |
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 — defined as those that nest in the lower 48 states during the months of March through June or live there from April through August — 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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