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Geese get helping hand to truck north for an endless summer

Published: 22 November 2019

Feral geese in Auckland are getting a helping hand to migrate to warmer climes in the north.

Over the next three weeks, Auckland Council will be preparing a gaggle of more than 140 geese at Western Springs Lakeside to truck the coop.

Auckland Council’s Head of Operational Management and Maintenance, Agnes McCormack, said that the current goose population is unsustainable for the Western Springs area.

“The independent advice we’ve received is that the sustainable number for this park is 20.

“With such an over-population, competition for food and space has increased and the geese are getting more aggressive,” Agnes says.

“Some people are staying away from the park as a result."

Competing with native waterfowl, the geese are also fouling up the environment.

“Each goose eats 3 kg of green matter a day meaning pūkeko and swans are missing out on food.

“On top of that, each goose produces 1.3 kg of faecal matter resulting in the lake becoming unhealthy and the park being littered with their droppings."

To prepare for the re-homing, a pen is being assembled in the park two weeks prior to the corraling to get the geese used to the pen.

“We want to make the transition as easy as possible for the birds. We will also have a vet on hand to monitor their health”, Agnes says.

Some park access will be affected on the days the geese are re-homed to ensure minimal stress.

The gaggle will make the permanent migration to their new northern home by mid-December.

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