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Biologist: Canada geese will remain in the area



Indianapolis, Indiana – In Indiana, you may have to share the road or the water with Canada Geese.

“Historically, in pre-European settlements, these birds were native to at least the northern two-thirds of Indiana, so these birds were here historically,” said Adam Phelps, a waterfowl biologist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

In June and July, Canada geese molt, losing all of their feathers at once. They move in large flocks to keep secure. When guarding their young, they are especially hostile toward humans.

“People may be fishing for salmon in Alaska, and a mama bear comes up with her cubs. You want to vacate the area because parents are defensive of their young,” said Phelps.

These birds migrate from as far north as the Arctic region to Indiana, where they can be seen virtually all year long. Grass is the major food that Canada geese eat, and they can harm turf.

“In terms of water contamination, that’s been looked at quite a bit, it doesn’t appear that’s really an issue. It’s difficult to separate animal sources of those contaminants,” said Phelps.

The birds were on the verge of extinction in the early 1960s, but they are now making a comeback. 40 different states and provinces have been visited by geese that were tagged in Indiana.

“People should, in my mind, really respect the majesty and success story in terms of what these birds represent,” said Phelps.

Physically harming geese is prohibited under federal law. You can use dogs or loud noises to drive geese away from your land.

To kill or remove obtrusive geese, landowners and homeowners groups may submit an application for a federal permit.

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