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USDA, ODNR perform goose management in Mill Creek MetroParks

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), under the supervision of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), conducted goose management this morning in Mill Creek Park. Utilizing methods recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association, Canada geese were humanely euthanized by USDA.

For years, Mill Creek MetroParks has been addressing goose management issues. We have taken steps utilizing various methods to address these issues, including harassment (flare guns, predator decoys, and dogs), egg addling (treatment of eggs to prevent development/hatching; performed under ODNR permit), habitat modification, and educating the public about not feeding wildlife. These methods have proven unsuccessful; therefore, with a permit from ODNR, the roundup is the next step to reduce the population to a more manageable level. Mill Creek MetroParks is not authorized by ODNR to relocate the geese.

Mill Creek MetroParks has observed and received numerous complaints from visitors whose MetroParks experience has been negatively impacted by geese due to their droppings and aggressive behavior. Goose droppings contain E.coli and other potential pathogens, and the excessive goose droppings in Mill Creek Park can be a disease concern for both people and pets. The large volume of droppings in public areas has created a safety hazard for people. Geese in Mill Creek Park have lost their fear of humans and become aggressive. MetroParks staff has observed incidents where children and adults were in danger of being bitten or attacked by geese while enjoying the MetroParks. The large goose population has also impacted the habitats in Mill Creek Park through overgrazing of grass and landscape plantings, trampling of vegetation, and erosion of shorelines.

“It’s unfortunate that it has come to this point,” said Dennis Miller, executive director of Mill Creek MetroParks. “After consulting with ODNR, this was determined to be the next step and should give us more success for nonlethal management in the future. Management of natural resources, trees, and wildlife is something we take very seriously at the MetroParks and all options are explored prior to making decisions.”

Due to concerns about the possibility of heavy metals and contamination in wild resident geese, MetroParks policy is to not donate the meat.

The public can help Mill Creek MetroParks manage the goose population by not feeding the waterfowl/wildlife. Although it can be entertaining to feed the animals, the food normally given is not appropriate for them and contributes to contamination, overpopulation, and aggressive conflicts.

For more information about Canada goose management, visit our Goose Management page, or contact ODNR or USDA.

For more information about our “Do Not Feed the Wildlife” campaign, visit our “Do Not Feed the Wildlife” page.