Month January 2016

Month January 2016

Who Are the Geese Police

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As you may have noticed in your area there are trucks and vans driving around with decals on them saying, “Geese Police”. Like me, I wondered what that was all about. Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to travel far to find out. As it turns out, my neighbors are the owners of Geese Police Central Indiana. Like you, I’ve wondered what they do and why they do it. Geese Police is a company founded in 1986 to humanely control the Canada geese and other birds from destroying property and crops in an environmentally safe way.

Why do you need to control Canada geese and other birds? According to a study done by the Virginia Cooperative Extension associated with both Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, there’s a huge population increase in Canada geese that no longer migrate, which are commonly referred to as resident geese. According to estimates, there are over 1 million individual Canada geese in the Eastern U.S. to date. This exponential growth in the residential geese population has created quite a problem. Like all animals, Canada geese must go potty from time to time. Unfortunately, their bathroom is the sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, eating areas, sitting areas, playgrounds, and many other places. This causes business owners, residents, consumers, diners, and airports especially a problem.

Many of us would say why don’t we just round them up and destroy them? Well, that’s only a temporary and inhumane solution. There will be more birds that will land there eventually and you cannot keep destroying them. Also, Canada geese have a negative impact on safety but they have a large impact on natural wildlife and ecosystems. They tend to find their food near shorelines of lakes, rivers, streams, and creeks. An overabundance of feeding geese will create a lack of food for other waterfowl. This causes the predators of said waterfowl to not be able to hunt for their natural prey. Also, large amounts of feces in the water causes large amounts of phosphorous and nitrogen which depletes the water of oxygen that the fish use to survive. As a result, you see other species of birds, fish, and other animals leaving the area to find resources in another location or simply dying due to the tainted resources or lack thereof.

Not only do Canada geese negatively affect the natural environment and natural species, but they can negatively the health of humans. Canada geese and many birds are carriers of bacterial parasites that can be pathogenic to humans. The bacteria most commonly associated with Canada geese feces is E. coli. E. coli can be found in the gastrointestinal tracts of most humans, but there are certain strains of E. coli that can be harmful to humans such as Legionnaire’s disease and Salmonella. No evidence shows that direct contact with Canada geese can cause you to contract these diseases, however you can by drinking or using water tainted by Canada goose droppings.

As I have delineated, the Geese Police provide a pivotal service not only by ridding the community of a nuisance and sometimes eyesore, but by preventing potential serious health problems, preserving public natural areas such as parks, and helping to keep the farm fields in the area from being totally consumed by Canada geese. So, the next time you see a Geese Police truck or van, I suggest you give them a kind wave or nod so that they know you appreciate what an important job they do.