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CONTROL OF RESIDENT CANADA GOOSE POPULATIONS



March 31, 1998                         Hugh Vickery  202-208-5634
     
            SERVICE PROPOSES STREAMLINED PROCESS FOR 
       STATES TO CONTROL RESIDENT CANADA GOOSE POPULATIONS
     
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed establishing a 
new permit to allow state wildlife agencies to deal with and 
control resident Canada goose populations that pose a threat to 
public health and safety or are damaging property.
     
Under the proposed new permit, between March 11 and August 31, 
states would not have to obtain individual permits from the 
Service each time they determined that a Canada goose control 
action was necessary, as is currently required.  At other times 
of the year, states would still have to seek permits on a case- 
by-case basis to ensure these efforts do not interfere with 
effective regulation and monitoring of other Canada goose 
populations.  The new permit would only be available to state 
wildlife agencies.
     
"Bolstered by plenty of habitat and a lack of natural predators, 
burgeoning populations of resident Canada geese increasingly are 
coming into conflict with people and property," said Service 
Director Jamie Rappaport Clark.  "This proposal gives state 
wildlife agencies the flexibility to manage these resident 
populations without having to get authorization from the Fish and 
Wildlife Service every time they decide to take action."
     
The new permits would contain a number of conditions.  States, 
for example, would be able to use lethal means of controlling 
resident Canada goose populations only when alternative nonlethal 
means have proven ineffective or unfeasible.  States also would 
have to set up the control actions in such a way that they are 
not actually a "hunt" and would have to dispose of killed birds 
in a proper way such as donating them to charities to provide 
food for homeless people.
     
Control efforts include harassment, culling, and trapping and 
relocating injurious flocks.  States generally employ these means 
in areas where reducing populations through hunting is not 
possible.
     
The control actions would not be allowed if they affect any 
species listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered 
Species Act.  In addition, in areas of California, Oregon, and 
Washington, the proposal would restrict lethal control activities 
to May 1 to August 31 to protect the threatened Aleutian Canada 
goose.
     
Wildlife agencies recognize and manage Canada geese by distinct 
populations.  The majority of these populations nest in the Arctic 
and spend winter in the United States; however, several 
populations nest and reside in the temperate climates throughout 
the year and often are referred to as "resident."  While 
"migratory" and "resident" birds look very similar and often 
intermingle, they rarely interbreed nor do birds often shift from 
one population to the other.
     
The proposal focuses on resident Canada geese that live year- 
round in the Lower 48 States.  These locally breeding birds have 
settled onto golf courses, urban parks, corporate campuses, and 
other protected areas that offer excellent year-round habitat 
both low in predators and high in food supply.
     
The proposal was published in the March 31 Federal Register.  The 
public may comment on the proposal in writing until June 1, 1998. 
Comments should be sent to Chief, Office of Migratory Bird 
Management, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA  22203.  
     
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal 
agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish 
and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the 
American people.  The Service manages 94 million acres of land 
and water comprised of 512 national wildlife refuges, 65 national 
fish hatcheries, 38 wetland management districts with waterfowl 
production areas, and 50 wildlife coordination areas.
     
The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, manages migratory bird 
populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves 
and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, administers the 
Endangered Species Act, and helps foreign governments with their 
conservation efforts.  It also oversees the Federal Aid program 
that distributes Federal excise taxes on fishing and hunting 
equipment to state wildlife agencies.  This program is a 
cornerstone of the Nation's wildlife management efforts, funding 
fish and wildlife restoration, boating access, hunter education, 
shooting ranges, and related projects across America.
     
     
                              -FWS-
     
     
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Subject: CONTROL OF RESIDENT CANADA GOOSE POPULATIONS
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