Taking eggs reducing Winnipeg crashes with geese, MPI says

Fewer geese means fewer Manitoba Public Insurance claims, according to MPI's Brian Smiley.

Fewer Manitobans filing goose-related claims with Manitoba Public Insurance

Destroying eggs, reducing Winnipeg crashes with geese, MPI says

CBC News: Winnipeg at 6:00

7 years ago
Fewer geese means fewer Manitoba Public Insurance claims, according to MPI's Brian Smiley, but some Winnipeggers are upset over the fact that the eggs are being destroyed. 2:01

Fewer geese means fewer Manitoba Public Insurance claims, according to MPI's Brian Smiley.

Smiley said moving geese eggs from high traffic areas is making a difference in the amount of claims being filed.

"It seems to be working. Again we saw a reduction last year, about 36 claims," he said. "The year previous over 60, so again I am not sure if it's the result of those methods but again we have seen a reduction in our goose claims."
MPI's Brian Smiley said moving eggs from high traffic areas has resulted in fewer goose-related collision claims being filed by Manitoba drivers. (Katie Nicholson/CBC)

But some Winnipeggers aren't happy with what MPI is doing with those eggs.

Jeff Bromley heard the Urban Goose Working Group (UGWG) was taking goose eggs from their nests and that pushed him over the edge.

"I for one do not consent to the destruction of these eggs," he said. "I simply refuse to accept that the mass killing of local wildlife is the only solution here."

Angry with the UGWG, Bromley wrote to officials.

Since 2011 the UGWG has removed thousands of eggs from Kenaston and other high traffic areas.

"I don't want to be a part of it," said Bromley. "I'm a taxpayer and I wasn't informed about this. Nobody asked me my opinion and I know nobody asked anybody else their opinions. I just heard about this this morning and I'm thinking I should probably know about this."

Smiley said geese walking alongside a road can get startled by vehicles and fly into the headlight, door or windshield.

"Typically the goose will be startled and it will fly into the vehicle, so it will smash out a headlight, perhaps dent a door, scratch a fender, scratch a bumper," said Smiley. "Not significant damage but enough for a customer to open a claim."

In the city, geese face very few threats aside from being hit by cars. 

"They made these man-made lakes, retention ponds in these new developments which are perfect for Canada geese," said Fort Whyte site and wildlife manager Ken Cudmore. "More than anything they like grass which is surrounding these retention ponds. There's no predators to speak of."

Out near Fort Whyte Alive, nesting geese are plentiful as well — but they also have various predators to contend with that keep numbers in check.

"Out here we have quite a few nesting geese, but we also have coyotes and foxes and raccoons and mink — everything that likes to eat goose eggs," said Cudmore. "But once you get into urban Winnipeg there's none of that but there's all these ideal conditions for a goose to live. 

Smiley said most of the collisions seem to happen in the south end of Winnipeg.