Driving from Moncton to Dieppe now means navigating around giant Canada geese who’ve made a home in the traffic circle’s pond, but the New Brunswick government is looking into ways of decreasing this problem.
Geese have been killed in the past trying to cross the road with their young to reach the Petitcodiac River, and while no motorists have been injured, the government said something needed to be done.
Transportation Minister Bill Fraser, along with the Atlantic Wildlife Institute and local ecologists, announced a strategy Friday to make the traffic circle less attractive to the geese.
“The safety of the motorists and their passengers are our top priority,” Fraser said.
The strategy, he said, starts with keeping the geese inside the circle with snow fencing around the pond.
“After the eggs are hatched, they lose their flight feathers. It’s called moulting and they become flightless,” said ecologist Greg Quinn
He said that means for the next 45 days, everywhere they want to go, they walk
“After hatching they will look for an area where they have access to a body of water to avoid predators,” Quinn said. “They want to move into the water when they see danger, denying them that access reduces the suitability of the habitat.”
The other strategy, Quinn said, is to collect the eggs inside the pond.
“We’ve removed 79 eggs, so we can expect almost that many fewer birds already,” he said. “So in a sense it’s already worked, but we will continue to monitor the numbers in the circle.”
The eggs collected will be given to the New Brunswick Museum for scientific research.
“They ‘ll be looking into the genetic background, what the eggs are, making sure of the subspecies it is and if there’s any other kind of toxicology to see the health of this particular goose,” said researcher Pam Novak.
Fraser said hope is that, by disturbing their habitat, it’ll discourage the birds from coming back to the circle.