The war on geese, and their droppings, in Ottawa's urban parks has moved to the beaches.
Prompted by complaints from the public and concerns about health, the National Capital Commission began its campaign to curtail the clamorous waterfowl and their ubiquitous excrement in 2009, and has seen a measure of success on its riverside properties.
"We have noticed quite a drop in the numbers," said Mario Fournier, the NCC’s manager of urban lands. "I would say close to 50 per cent."
Techniques ranged from installing fences to block the birds’ access from the river to parks, to planting shrubs and letting the grass grow longer so the birds fear approaching predators, even if there aren't any. Also crucial was posting signs asking people not to feed the animals.
"This year the geese has less gosling, less youth. So this means the future generations will maybe be attracted to go elsewhere," Fournier said.
The commission is hoping its success along the Ottawa River Parkway can be matched at Gatineau Park, where the avian invasion has spread to the beaches.
Fournier said the NCC is introducing the same measures in the park, and will be cleaning excrement daily from the grass. Each goose produces an average of a kilogram of waste a day.