Friday, April 30, 2010

Ridgewood GeesePeace: Volunteers Improving Our Community Since 2007

Formed in March 2007, Ridgewood GeesePeace is a group of volunteers that recognized the health hazards associated with the unchecked growth of our resident Canada goose population and acted to resolve this wildlife conflict by implementing humane methods endorsed by major national wildlife protection and humane organizations, including: The Humane Society of the United States, the Fund for Animals, PETA and the Doris Day Animal League.

The GeesePeace program comprises three main solutions: Population Stabilization, Geese Exclusion and a No-Feeding Policy.

Population Stabilization

Egg oiling by trained volunteers helps control the resident goose population humanely. Since the program’s inception in 2007 Ridgewood GeesePeace volunteers have oiled 395 eggs in 80 nests within the Village.

What’s the long-term impact of our efforts? In the year 2015 there will be 1,022 fewer adult Canada geese in our immediate area than there would have been absent our continuing egg-oiling program.

Geese Exclusion

Trained dogs chase geese away from areas in which they are in conflict with the community. The Village of Ridgewood has contracted with Tyco Animal Control to harass and chase geese from designated areas that include Graydon Park, Veterans Field and other recreational areas and municipal facilities where their presence is unwanted.

No Feeding Policy

It is unlawful to feed wildlife on any public park or on any other property owned or operated by the Village. [ See Part II, Chapter 105, Article VIII, §§ 105-50 thru 105-54 of the General Code. ]

Geese come to a site for two reasons. First, they like the grass kept short for them by frequent mowing. Secondly, lakes, ponds and other water bodies provide them with safety from land predators. Artificial feeding of the geese exacerbates the problem. During harsh winters some people believe that they need to feed geese, especially when the ground is covered with snow. Geese have plenty of resources to find food for the winter. One way is to fly to warmer areas. They should not be encouraged to stay, when they will naturally find warmer feeding grounds.

Help your community! Report nesting geese to Ridgewood GeesePeace.

Canada geese nest in late March and throughout April. If you see geese nesting or have a nest on your property, don’t chase the geese away or destroy the eggs. The geese will simply lay more eggs in a new location. As a result, Ridgewood GeesePeace may not be able to locate the new nests in time to oil the eggs and the population will continue to grow rather than be reduced.

Report nests in the Village of Ridgewood by calling the Parks & Recreation Department at 201-670-5560.

Report nests in Bergen County parks by calling the McFaul Environmental Center in Wyckoff at 201-891-5571.