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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Coyote Biologist Stan Gehrt has previously noted that Coyotes are an efficient predator of Canada Goose eggs----particularly helpful in keeping what had been an out-of-control Illinois Goose population in check..........By 1960, the Canada Goose had ceased to nest in Illinois and a successful restoration program began to rebuild the population.....As we all know, all good deeds indeed get punished in wildlife restoration when prey species are put back on the ground without simultaneously restoring trophic carnivores............If you tilt the balance in favor of geese withour the carnivore guild of coyotes/foxes/raccoons,,,,,,,,,,,,,the geese explode and negative consequences ensue-------Something for West Virginia and Pennsylvania to keep in mind as they continue to put Elk back on the ground---Wolves and Pumas needed!!!!!!!!

Goose truce: Control services, outreach education, coyotes have helped to reduce human-waterfowl conflict

Updated: 2012-06-02T07:06:36Z
From across the pond in Mount Prospect, Ill., Bob Jost uses binoculars to count the geese, then carefully pencils in the totals on a clipboard - 19, made up of three families.



"You get to know them," says Jost as his dog Holly snoozes in the back of his pickup. "Eventually they're going to come out on the sidewalk."Which is when the professional goose chaser will wake up Holly and use noisemakers and other tricks of the trade - some of them secret - to teach the Canada geese that it's time to move on.

After years of steady growth, the population of giant Canada geese in Illinois has remained flat at around 107,000 birds over the last decade, according to an annual helicopter survey by the state Department of Natural Resources.Chicago-area residents used to flood U.S. Fish and Wildlife offices with complaints about aggressive birds or annoying droppings during late spring and early summer - the 25- to 30-day nesting period. But this year the phones have been mostly quiet, officials say.

The reasons include outreach education programs, a near doubling in the number of permits granted to remove eggs and nests, and a helpful coyote population. All have contributed to controlling a goose population that once seemed uncontrollable, officials say.
Last month's death of 37-year-old Anthony Hensley, whose kayak flipped while he was checking on a swan used to control geese in Des Plaines, Ill., brought awareness to another remedy that has helped to keep the birds in line in recent years: a proliferation of goose chasing services.

urban coyotes act as a biocontrol for Canada geese through their predation of goose nests. This surprising finding has led to the production of coyote ‘scarecrows’ to scare geese away from parks and golf courses. 

"A lot of people say I've never heard of a service like mine," said Jost, a lifelong goose hunter who opened Northshore Goose Control three years ago. "It's definitely a different trade, not the normal landscaper, mechanic, office person - but I'm able to pay my bills."

In the early 1960s, the giant Canada goose did not nest in Illinois, and some wildlife experts worried the bird was becoming extinct. State conservationists launched restoration efforts to bring the geese back to rural parts of western Illinois in the late 1960s and early 1970s, said Roy Domazlicky, urban waterfowl project manager for the Department of Natural Resources.
By the 1980s, the geese were ready to check out city life."Nobody knew they were going to be as adaptable as they were," Domazlicky said. "We never put them in the urban areas. They really just kind of found their way there."

The geese mate for life and were drawn to the area by picturesque parks, golf courses and landscaped office complexes. But the geese, who love to eat lush green grass and use nearby water for protection, quickly turned off some residents with another habit."It's two chews and a poop, that's just what they do," said Jost, who visits 23 golf courses, park districts and office complexes each day to monitor and, if need be, "haze" or intimidate geese.

 For years, private residents, park district superintendents and business owners were unclear on what they could do to control the birds, which are protected by both state and federal laws.
But by 2006, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service turned authority over to the state to issue permits to "addle" eggs (prevent them from hatching), the public seemed more educated, said Shawn Cirton, wildlife biologist in the Chicago field office. Addling techniques include shaking or burying the eggs.

Cirton said brochures and other outreach aimed at educating the public have helped.
For its part, the state three years ago created a website - - to provide detailed advice on how to handle issues with all wildlife, including Canada geese.
The number of permits issued to dispose of eggs rose from 274 in 2003 to about 500 annually over the last 10 years; homeowners associations and corporate campuses are the bulk of the applicants, Domazlicky said.

n the meantime, Carlson is resigned to mowing lawns on Monday knowing they'll need another mow - this time to collect droppings - by Tuesday.
"I don't think we're ever going to see a time when we can see no geese out there, but I think we've reached some kind of a happy medium," he said.

For more information about a conflict with Canada geese, contact the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Urban Waterfowl Project Manager, Roy Domazlicky, at (847) 608-3100


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