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Geese are a growing problem amid shrinking crops

A large gaggle of geese rest in a small pond in the town of Cazenovia. The NYSDEC recently issued a GDP allowing any person to scare or herd Canada geese at any time.

A large gaggle of geese rest in a small pond in the town of Cazenovia. The NYSDEC recently issued a GDP allowing any person to scare or herd Canada geese at any time. Photo by Pierce Smith.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recently issued a General Depredation Permit (GDP) allowing the disturbance or removal of Canada geese, their nests or eggs, under certain situations and conditions without having to apply for individual state and federal permits.

Any person may scare or herd Canada geese at any time, by any means, including the use of dogs, pyrotechnics or lasers, as long as no birds are physically harmed. Geese should be chased away from an area as soon as they arrive in the spring and persistently chased until they leave the area for good.

Once geese start nesting in mid-March to mid-May, they will be less likely to leave the area. To prevent geese from nesting successfully, “egg-addling” can be conducted in any area of the state. After registering on-line at epermits.fws.gov/eRCGR/, anyone may oil or puncture any number of nests or eggs of Canada geese on property they own, or on which they have permission of the property owner.

In addition to the options above, farmers are encouraged to take advantage of special federal regulations that allow them to shoot or capture and kill adult or juvenile Canada geese before the open hunting seasons.

After obtaining authorization in advance from DEC, agricultural producers or their employees or agents may take any number of Canada geese from property they own, manage, or control between May 1 and Aug. 31 where geese are committing depredations to crops.

For more information about Canada geese or options available to help prevent or reduce problems with Canada geese, please visit the DEC website at dec.ny.gov/animals/7003.html or contact the DEC’s regional wildlife in Cortland at (607) 753-3095.

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