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Attitudes of Central Missouri Residents toward Local Giant Canada Geese and Management Alternatives

John M. Coluccy, Ronald D. Drobney, David A. Graber, Steven L. Sheriff and Daniel J. Witter
Wildlife Society Bulletin (1973-2006)
Vol. 29, No. 1 (Spring, 2001), pp. 116-123
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3783987
Page Count: 8
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Attitudes of Central Missouri Residents toward Local Giant Canada Geese and Management Alternatives
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Abstract

Increasing numbers of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) in urban and suburban settings have become problematic. An understanding of public attitudes regarding geese and potential management alternatives is necessary before wildlife agencies can enact socially acceptable measures to control these populations. We used a random telephone survey of 800 central Missouri residents to assess public awareness of a local population of giant Canada geese (B.c. maxima), overall attitudes regarding the flock, preferences for goose management alternatives, and public perception of management responsibilities. Most respondents (74%) were cognizant of the local population of giant Canada geese. Most (68%) indicated that they enjoy Canada geese, and 42% were satisfied with the current population level in the area. However, landowners and respondents reporting property damage indicated they would like to see fewer geese in the future and were more likely to describe geese as a nuisance. Except for traditional firearms hunting and antifeeding ordinances, lethal and nonlethal management alternatives generally were viewed negatively. However, support for lethal alternatives increased when it could be demonstrated that geese were causing serious damage, lethal methods were the only viable means of control, and geese were killed humanely and processed for human consumption through local food pantries or homeless shelters. Respondents reporting property damage also were more likely to support lethal alternatives. The plurality of respondents (48%) indicated that landowners should not expect compensation for damage to their property caused by geese. However, hunters and respondents who reported property use by geese viewed government agencies as financially accountable for damage.

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