YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Last week, two reports were issued examining geese overpopulation in Mill Creek Park, which has been a problem for three years now, ever since 240 of them were rounded up and killed.
Both reports will be used to determine future park policy.
“It basically gave them a baseline of how many geese were found at the park on this specific day,” said Jeff Harvey, President of the Audubon Society/Mahoning Valley.
The Audubon Society/Mahoning Valley counted 146 geese in Mill Creek Park on June 26 — all of them around lakes Newport and Glacier.
Two months earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture counted 131 geese in the park. It also counted 28 nests and 114 eggs, almost all around the Newport Wetlands. Those eggs were addled — shaken — to make sure they wouldn’t hatch.
The Audubon Society count found only six goslings.
“So that means USDA did their job,” said Denny Malloy, chairman of the Mill Creek Wildlife Committee. “They located the nests correctly. They went in eight times. It was money well spent and now there’s going to be a no net gain of geese in Mill Creek Park.”
Both Malloy and Harvey are okay with the process of addling.
“It’s proven to work really well to keep the urban goose population down in human conflict areas,” Malloy said.
“At least you’re not killing the geese,” Harvey said. “You’re trying to control them. That’s probably an effective method you can use.”
One thing Harvey would like to see is the baseline number for the number of geese allowed in Mill Creek Park but he could not say what that number should be.
“There’s no set numbers of geese per acre of water or anything like that that we can recommend to the park,” Harvey said.
Mill Creek Metro Parks Commissioner Tom Shipka said he expects the two reports to be forwarded to the park’s wildlife committee and eventually, a policy on geese to be developed.
The two reports also recommended stricter enforcement of the “don’t feed the geese law.” The Audubon Society suggested changing the habitat of the Newport Wetlands, making it harder for geese to nest.
Both studies suggested the addling program be continued.