Egg collecting to begin soon as means of reducing urban goose numbers

Posted: Monday, May 01, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An estimated 4,000 Canada geese have returned to Alaska's largest city to nest, and the Anchorage Waterfowl Working Group is planning another organized egg collection to start this month.

The program is aimed at slowing the growth of the goose population around the community.

The Working Group said its egg gathering is done only once or twice a year to minimize the impacts on other birds. Collectors will leave one egg behind in each nest to discourage geese from abandoning their nests and starting new ones, the group said.

The Canada goose population in Alaska has risen from a few hundred in the mid-1970s to a peak of 4,600 in 1998.

Higher goose numbers pose safety, economic and nuisance problems as well as health risks. Local airports are spending more than $400,000 each year to keep their runways clear of geese.

Taking goose eggs outside the organized Waterfowl Working Group program is against the law, officials said.

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