Managing Canada geese in Guelph

In some of Guelph’s parks, trails, and green spaces, the over-population of the Canada goose is creating challenges, causing conflicts and making a mess. By managing the Canada goose population in Guelph we hope to:

  • reduce conflicts between geese and people
  • improve safety for children and pets in Guelph parks and trails
  • reduce goose poop mess and cleanup
  • ensure healthy, diverse mix of plants and wildlife habitat in Guelph’s green spaces

We don’t want to get rid of all of the Canada geese in Guelph. We are working to prevent over-population in a few problem areas and reduce conflicts in our busiest parks using two strategies: nest management and humane relocation.

Canada goose nest management

Canada goose nest managementThe City of Guelph has a permit from the Canadian Wildlife Service to manage nests citywide, however, we are targeting Royal City Park, John Galt Park and Riverside Park.

We monitor nests to intervene early in the incubation process and apply oil to eggs before development begins to prevent hatching. Unsuccessful breeding signals to the geese that breeding in this location was unsuccessful, encouraging them to try another place the following year.

Canada goose relocation

Guelph also has a permit from the Canadian Wildlife Service to humanely relocate geese from our busiest parks to appropriate wetlands away from Guelph. This is being done to minimize conflicts in these parks, especially during peak usage times. From mid-June until mid-July, Canada Geese assemble in large groups when they are moulting their feathers and flightless. At this time, a trained contractor will round up some of the geese from parks with the highest numbers of geese and move them to other areas outside of Guelph that are capable of supporting the relocated flock. This technique is considered appropriate for geese causing conflicts in urban areas. It is recognized that this is a short-term solution, as geese tend to return after they regain their flight feathers or the following season.

Help reduce conflicts with Canada geese

Do not feed geese

  • People food can make them sick and cause excess waste which is both unhealthy and unsightly.
  • Geese may become dependent on artificial, unreliable food supplies. If they associate humans with food, they may become aggressive.
  • Feeding animals near city streets increases their risk of being hit by vehicles.

Prevent or report nesting on your property

Leave rocks and let long grass grow near shorelines on your property.

If you find a nest on your property near Riverside Park, John Galt Park or Royal City Park, we may be able to manage that nest.

For more information

Dave Beaton
Program Manager, Forestry and Sustainable Landscapes
519-822-1260 extension 2761
[email protected]