LaSalle aims to fight Canadian geese using dogs, drones

Montreal, April 8, 2021

LaSalle wants to fight Canadian geese, using dogs, drones and remote control cars – over goose droppings.

Spring is around the corner, and with it comes the annual influx of Canadian geese who return home to Montreal shores to nest, mate, and enjoy the summer. For many, the returning birds are a source of happiness – but for some residents of Montreal’s LaSalle district, their presence is an unwelcomed one. The main complaint, is that the large birds leave a large quantality of droppings behind them.

The borough has said that they will use dogs, drones and remote control cars to chase the geese about in an attempt to make the foul feel less comfortable in the area in and around Park Des Rapides. The birds, often nicknamed as murder chickens across Canada, are of the larger species in the nation, and will probably put up a fight – especially if they have young goslings in the area. A ganders job, is to protect its young. Thus it stands to reason that whatever means are used to disperse these bids, will be met with feathered acts of violence.

Although, technically, geese do not have teeth – they do have papillae, which are barb-like structures on the tongue and beak that are used to cut up food and keep its catch in their mouths.

“The idea is to basically chase the geese around without harming them, so that they don’t feel welcome in the environment,” said Nathalie Hadida, of LaSalle Registry and Citizen Relations. Leaving many citizens concerned over the welfare of the animals. Surely, threatening the animals, with other animals and drones will make the large foul aggressive and can potentially risk hard to not just the foul – but the dogs charged with their harassments as well. Chances that the birds will retaliate against humans in the area will almost certainly also be increased.

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However, Park Des Rapides is actually a federal migratory bird sanctuary, and is home to 225 bird species, 66 fish species, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and rare plants. Home to the second-largest heron colony in Québec as well as diverse waterfowl. Which then begs the question; if these geese are not wanted at a bird sanctuary, one with a land mass of 30 hectares – where exactly should they be chased away to? Perhaps citizens will less amused when they find the birds hanging about their backyard swimming pools.

“The geese like it here because, first of all, it’s open. There’s easy access from the water up to here; and well, obviously there’s food everywhere,” said Héritage Laurentien biologist Jacques Duquette.

Perhaps the borough of LaSalle should be equally concerned with the copious amount of dog droppings that its citizens see fit to leave scattered and splattered around this same piece of green land.