Resident Canada geese to be euthanized in Rangeley

RANGELEY – A management plan is being adopted to reduce the resident population of Canada geese in the town and Lake Rangeley area that calls for the use of carbon dioxide to euthanize waterfowl.

The geese have become very abundant and accustomed to human presence and an imminent threat to human health, authorities said.

“This behavior has led to an alarming amount of droppings in recreation areas that can spread disease to people, and has resulted in damaged lawns and costly cleanup and repair efforts,” said state manager Robin Dyer. of (US Department of Agriculture) Animal and Plant Health Inspections, Wildlife Services, who is also a certified wildlife biologist, wrote in an email. “In this situation, Wildlife Services worked with the cooperator for over a year, attending meetings and providing many non-lethal options, including harassment techniques and chemical application options that remove the lure. lawn for the geese.”

Non-lethal methods failed to remedy the situation due to the overabundance of geese.

“After consultation with the USDA and a public comment period, the Goose Damage Management Plan has been authorized by the (Rangeley) Board of Breeders,” Rangeley City Manager Joe Roach wrote in a statement. an email. “The approved plan was then sent to me for operational implementation with the wildlife experts.”

There was a 15-day period, from April 29 to May 13, during which people could comment on the proposed damage management plan.

Roach estimated there were about 75 to 100 geese. Geese frequent the beach, the city park and green spaces and other places. There are also geese at the airport, which Roach says may belong to the same group.

Resident Canada geese are those that breed and nest in the United States, Dyer wrote. The population of these residents increased 16 times between 1970 and 2009 (from 230,000 to 3.89 million). Aviation collisions and damage claims for resident Canada geese have increased at the same time. In urban areas they have few predators and hunting cannot be used to control the population, she wrote.

Wildlife services only respond when the public or partner agencies ask for help. The service is licensed to deal with wildlife damage and must follow all rules, laws and regulations set forth by wildlife management agencies.

Given the seriousness of the situation, the abundance of geese and the imminent threat to human health and safety, wildlife services have been asked to lead a capture effort that will result in euthanasia humane geese,” Dyer wrote.

Wildlife Services “strictly adheres to American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines for humane euthanasia which, in this case, requires the use of carbon dioxide. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has become a serious concern among birds nationwide and can be transmitted to many species of waterfowl, including geese. This disease not only jeopardizes the health of wild birds, but has an even greater impact on domestic poultry populations.” , wrote Dyer.

Due to the great concern over avian influence, species that may carry the disease should be treated with extreme caution. disposal of carcasses cannot be given or come into contact with other birds, according to Dyer.

“For this reason, carcasses will be composted in a manner consistent with all disease precautionary measures. Killing and lethal disposal are results authorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the governing agency for all migratory birds) and approved by the Maine Department of Wildlife of Inland Fisheries,” she said. writing.

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