Canada Geese Situation In Hot Springs Village

Canada Geese Facts

Scott McCord, Chair of the Common Property, Forestry and Wildlife Committee, says they estimate there are 300 or more geese in Hot Springs Village.

In one day, a goose defecates 1.5 to 2 pounds. 100 geese will leave 150 pounds of feces per day or up to 13,500 pounds of fecal matter on the ground and in the lakes in a three-month period. McCord said, “This problem is big and it is a tough battle to fight.”

Each mating pair produces five to seven goslings. therefore 50 mating pairs will produce roughly 300 goslings.

Is Goose Excretement Harmful to Aquatic Life?

Goose fecal matter contains 14 mg. of phosphorus and 5.7 mg. of nitrogen. The phosphorus and nitrogen they produce going into our lakes increases algae bloom and depletes the oxygen necessary for sustaining aquatic life.

Does Goose Dung Pose a Danger to Humans and Pets?

  • Research shows that goose fecal matter contains pathogens capable of infecting humans and pets. These pathogens include:
    • Parasites – Cryptosporidium Giardia and Toxoplasmosis
    • Bacteria – E-Coli, Listeria, Salmonella, and others
    • Viruses – Avian Flu, Encephalitic viruses

Goose Droppings Can be Annoying

In addition to the dangers of geese poop, a pathway, deck, or even grass-covered in geese poop can be very annoying to navigate, While this is not necessarily a health risk, it is a situation everyone wants to avoid.

Wild Goose Chase in Hot Springs Village Geese Defecating on Dock
Canada Geese Droppings in Hot Springs Village (Image Courtesy of Mark Quinton)

Solving Problems With Geese

To reduce the population of Canada Geese, attractions such as food sources and artificial nesting structures should be removed. Additionally, the human feeding of geese should be stopped.

Canada Geese have legal status. That means that they are migratory waterfowl and are subject to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service jurisdiction. It is illegal to harm geese, their eggs, and their nests in the United States without permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is punishable by fines and/or imprisonment.

Egg Addling

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) allows the addling of geese eggs in order to reduce the geese population. Addling is a process used by the Hot Springs Village Common Property, Forest, and Wildlife Committee to manage the Canada Geese population in the Village. The USFWS authorizes private landowners, public land managers, homeowners’ associations, and local governments to destroy resident Canada goose nests and eggs on property under their jurisdiction when necessary to resolve or prevent injury to people, property, agricultural crops, or other interests.

Every year Villagers search for geese nests and when found, the eggs are addled by oiling them with corn oil. This procedure prevents the egg from hatching, while at the same time the adult goose continues to incubate the eggs in the nest. The geese will eventually abandon the unproductive nest, but it is too late in the reproduction cycle to start another clutch. No live geese are harmed in this process.

In order to legally addle eggs, landowners, including property owner associations, must register with the USFWS. Common Property, Forest, and Wildlife Manager, Noles registers the POA each year between January 1 and June 30. He enters the individual names of agents who may conduct the work.

Also, once the season’s addling is completed, Manager Noles must report the results to the USFWS by October 31. If this is not done, then the HSVPOA will not be allowed to register for future addling seasons.

Help Needed

Currently, there are only two geese egg addlers to cover the whole Village. McCord said, “It is a big challenge finding the nest. The next biggest challenge is not getting beat up by a goose. But that is an easy one compared to finding the nest.” McCord said that they encourage Property Owners to notify the POA if they discover any nests.

Noles suggested that possibly some of the members of the shoreline clubs could help with the addling. Please contact Manager, Todd Noles at [email protected] or the Common Property, Forestry, and Wildlife Committee if this is something you can help with.

Special thanks to the Common Property, Forestry, and Wildlife Committee for providing much of the information for this article.

By Cheryl Dowden, Cover Image by Joe Dowden, Inside Image by Mark Quinton