In recent years, the Goose Management Program was expanded to include Andrew Haydon Park, specifically – using the tactics of egg management, coyote decoys, and pathway cleaning/maintenance. The current status for each of these tactics is as follows:
- Egg Management: In the early stages of our response to COVID-19, a decision was made to cancel egg management operations at all locations this year, as this work (which must be completed in the spring using strict criteria established by the Canadian Wildlife Federation) was not consistent with the closure of parks and the unknown outlook on summer operations. It is expected that these operations will resume in the spring of 2021.
- Coyote Decoys: The use of coyote decoys has proven successful to-date, and the decoys were deployed this year despite the ongoing pandemic. We have been advised that one of the decoys was recently stolen and has recently been replaced. No timeline is currently available for receipt of the replacement decoy, but it will be deployed as soon as it is received.
- Pathway Cleaning/Maintenance: Mechanical pathway sweepers conduct twice-weekly passes in Andrew Haydon Park, and we are planning to increase this to three times weekly in response to the current concerns.
Beyond the goose management measures noted above, the City has also explored other options such as dog hazing and shoreline barriers. These options were largely not supported by members of the public, and therefore – were not incorporated as part of the Goose Management Program.
In terms of next steps, staff have reviewed the situation at Andrew Haydon Park and believe that an opportunity exists to pilot a temporary barrier using monofilament or reflective tape around the two larger ponds, which may partially alleviate some of the issues noted below. That said, it should be noted that this temporary barrier could pose a potential entanglement risk for other animals, and may also create access issues for the model boat clubs. Staff would monitor the entanglement issue on a regular basis, and would opt to remove the barriers if they prove problematic.