USDA Wildlife Services has been lethally removing Canada geese in the Puget Sound area for 13 years under an interlocal agreement between several cities and entities within the region. The geese are being rounded up in our parks and gassed to death or shot on Lake Washington.
In 2013, nearly 1,200 geese were killed by Wildlife Services in just King County alone.
Renton, as well as several other cities in the area, are members of the interlocal agreement and pay to have the geese killed.
Many humane solutions can be utilized to mitigate conflicts with geese in urban areas. These include goose deterrent products and control techniques; public outreach on the need to stop feeding waterfowl; automated devices to clean up goose droppings; and reduction of populations through egg addling.
Health concerns are often cited in order to justify the killing of geese. However, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website, “Canada geese are not considered to be a significant source of any infectious disease transmittable to humans or domestic animals.”
I lived close to Gene Coulon Park for many years and was appalled to learn that geese were killed in or near the park.
Killing geese creates a void in the environment, other geese quickly move in, and a new round of killing begins. This creates an endless cycle of killing. The brutal killing of thousands of geese, including their newborn goslings, must stop. We must do a better job of sharing the earth with wildlife.
For more information and to sign a petition to stop the killing, please see https://www.change.org/petitions/puget-sound-area-officials-stop-killing-canada-geese