Goose Plan Update
February 28, 2001
Two years ago, Lake Barcroft committed to humanely solve the goose nuisance problem at Lake Barcroft by the summer of 2001. We are happy to report that we are way ahead of schedule. And, because of the success we have had at Lake Barcroft, Fairfax County has begun a public private partnership to reduce the goose nuisance countywide. GeesePeace in Fairfax is a non-profit partnership effort that began as a result of the Lake Barcroft example of humane goose conflict resolution.
Egg Addling (Coating with vegetable oil)
The GeesePeace in Fairfax project and the Lake Barcroft WID will continue its countywide goose egg oiling program this year to stabilize the goose population. Coating eggs with vegetable oil prevents oxygen from passing through the egg’s shell and the egg does not develop, it just stays an egg. The Lake Barcroft and GeesePeace in Fairfax program has the active support of humane societies and other animal protection organizations.
The “egg-oiling” program will reduce the population growth of resident geese and therefore allow other techniques like Border collies and landscaping to be more effective in reducing the nuisance aspect of Canada Geese. “Egg-oiling” will be carried out using the methods established by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and under permit of the U.S. fish and wildlife Service.
Here is what you can do in to support the Lake Barcroft and Fairfax County programs.
1. If you have a goose nest on your property, report the nest to WID at (703) 820-1300 or the GeesePeace in Fairfax project at (703) 354-1713. Egg oiling may only be carried out by organizations that have a permit for this activity issued by the U.S Fish and wildlife Service. WID has the necessary permit and expertise to conduct egg oiling. However, WID or GeesePeace in Fairfax will not conduct egg oiling on your property without your permission. To indicate your permission, place a green GeesePeace flag on your property. This will indicate your permission to oil Canada geese eggs on your property and/or allow Border collies to herd geese off your property. Flags may be obtained at the Lake Barcroft office.
2. Check your property for geese nests and report their location to WID. Look under docks that extend over land areas on your property.
3. Sign up for a GeesePeace in Fairfax volunteer training class at the GeesePeace web site (www.geesepeace.com). After successfully finishing this class you may help the GeesePeace in Fairfax project oil eggs and carry out other humane goose conflict resolution measures.
4. Pass on this information to your neighbors and friends in other communities. They too can be a part of the solution.
Border Collie Operations
While Fairfax County is playing catch-up with Lake Barcroft, Lake Barcroft is not standing still. As just mentioned, the Lake Barcroft WID will again lead an egg-oiling program. In addition, Lake Barcroft will implement Phase One of the Border collie operation. Phase One will move most non-nesting geese off Lake Barcroft. Geese begin building nests the last week in March. Phase One of the Border collie operation will end at that time. By allowing the nesting geese to continue to nest at Lake Barcroft we are improving the chance of finding nests to oil the eggs. cc
During the nesting season, mid-March through about the end of April, Border collie operations will be suspended while the geese are on any nests in Lake Barcroft. Phase Two will begin after the nesting season is over, early to mid May. This will be similar to last year, where only adult geese without goslings will be harassed. Geese with gosling will not be disturbed. As we did last year, the Lake Barcroft Border collie (her name is Dakota) will enter only properties that have a flag marker displayed in the yard visible to the Lake. However, our experience has been, that the geese recognize the Border collie and leave the property on their own once they see the Border collie approaching on the goose barge.
The Lake Barcroft Border collie program has the active support of national humane societies and other animal protection organizations. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) will again contribute $2000 to the Lake Barcroft program.
Lake Barcroft residents interested in learning more about the GeesePeace in Fairfax project should visit the GeesePeace web site. (www.geesepeace.com).