Flock Off to be applied at Awatea Lakes to control geese population
Kāpiti Coast District Council is trialling the use of bird repellent Flock Off at Awatea Lakes, in Paraparaumu, in a bid to control the local Canada geese population.
The number of Canada geese flocking at Awatea Lakes has steadily grown over recent months and, together with some in the community, Council has concerns about the health and environmental impacts of so many geese occupying the area.
Acting Manager Parks and Recreation Monique Engelen says there is a significant amount of geese droppings in the Awatea Lakes area.
“Droppings can carry diseases such as avian influenza, campylobacter, Escherichia coli, and salmonella, and large populations can foul waterways.
“Canada geese are a nationwide problem and here in Kāpiti we have reached a point now where we need to take steps to manage the population,” Ms Engelen says.
“In the coming weeks we’ll be trialling a product called Flock Off at Awatea Lakes to see if it will be effective in deterring the geese in settling/congregating there.
“We’ve had some success with this product in the past and we are optimistic that we will achieve a good result and provide some relief for Awatea Lakes residents and park visitors.”
Ms Engelen says Flock Off will provide only temporary results and council is considering other solutions.
“Flock Off will wear off and the geese will likely return at some stage, so we need to think about ways to better manage the population in future. We are actively considering our options, both in the short and longer terms, now.”
Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan says with a nationwide population of approximately 60,000 highly mobile birds eradication is not an achievable nor desired outcome for Council.
“We will likely always have geese to some degree in Kāpiti but right now the sheer numbers are the problem,” Mr Gurunathan says.
“Because this is a regional problem ideally we’d be taking a coordinated region-wide approach to this issue, but currently Canada geese are not considered pest animals in the Greater Wellington Regional Pest Management Plan so are not a high priority for control.
“We know growing populations will be an ongoing annual challenge for Kāpiti and our neighbouring districts and we would like to see greater regional leadership and coordination going forward.”
Flock Off spray is often used as a flavouring agent in foods and its bitter taste is a repellent to geese. It is not toxic to people or dogs but may cause irritation to skin when wet, so please avoid when spraying signs are up.