Programs designed to help Marylanders Manage Goose Conflicts
ANNAPOLIS (March 10, 2009)—The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services are coordinating to offer Maryland property owners and farmers the necessary tools to manage problems caused by Resident Canada geese.
Under the Nest and Egg Depredation Order, private landowners and public land managers may now destroy Resident Canada goose nests and eggs on property under their jurisdiction between March 1 and June 30 if necessary to resolve or prevent injury to people, property, agricultural crops, or other interests. Before any goose nests or eggs may be destroyed, landowners must go on-line to register with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Landowners must register employees or agents that may act on their behalf. Registration is valid for one nesting season and must be renewed each year before nests and eggs may be destroyed. There is no fee for registration. No State permit is required to destroy nests or eggs in Maryland.
The Agricultural Depredation Order allows agricultural producers including landowners, operators, and tenants actively engaged in commercial agriculture to use certain lethal methods to control Resident Canada geese on lands that they personally control and where geese are damaging agricultural crops.
State authorization is required to conduct this control. A federal permit is not required.
Goose nests and eggs may only be destroyed between March 1 and June 30, and geese may only be taken between May 1 and August 31. All management actions must occur on the premises of the depredation area. Geese may not be taken using hunting methods such as decoys and calls.
Agricultural producers can apply for a free State permit, in person or by telephone at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, 1568 Whitehall Road, Annapolis, MD 21409, Tel. 1-877-463-6497.
In 2008, the Maryland DNR modified its regulations to help make Resident Canada goose population control efforts more effective and user friendly for landowners and managers, said DNR Wildlife & Heritage Service Waterfowl Project Leader, Larry Hindman. We hope these programs will make it easier for Marylanders to resolve resident Canada goose conflicts.
Past efforts have shown Canada goose depredation control is most effective when a combination of techniques are used in concert: hunting seasons (special early and regular Resident Canada goose seasons and liberal bag limits), nest and egg destruction, non-lethal treatment methods like hazing with propane cannons, pyrotechnics and lethal alternatives.
"As with most wildlife problems, an integrated approach using a combination of tools has proven to be the best way to deal with Resident Canada goose depredation," added Hindman. "In most cases, non-lethal methods work quite well. However, the special depredation orders provide an additional prescription that deals with persistent geese in chronic cases."
For additional information about Resident Canada geese and other Maryland waterfowl visit the DNR web site at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/waterfowl.asp .
Source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)