Human-wildlife conflict – Geese

Canada geese thrive in urban environments, and there are simple ways to minimize human conflict with them.

About Geese

  • Geese have learned to adapt to an urban environment.
  • Geese are able to thrive in towns and cities as there are few natural predators in these areas.
  • Geese are grazers and feed on readily-available grasses. However, geese will scrounge and may eat garbage, compost or other unnatural sources of food.
  • Geese have a strong homing instinct. They will return to the same nesting and feeding sites year after year.
  • Canada geese can live up to 20 years.

How geese can be a nuisance to people

  • Geese can be loud, destroy landscaping and can harass and threaten pets.
  • Geese are territorial and can be aggressive, charging humans and animals they feel are getting too close to their nest or young.

What to do if I see geese

  • Do not feed the geese. Human food can be harmful to geese, and being fed by humans lowers their natural fear of people, making problem encounters more likely.
  • The best thing for geese, and all wildlife, is to be left alone.
  • Be aware that when goslings hatch, their parents will take them to the nearest water body within a day. They will be able to make this journey with no human intervention.

How to keep geese away from your property

  • If you want the birds to permanently leave your property, you will need to remove the source of food or shelter that they are finding there. Removing individual geese or flocks of geese from your property will only leave a vacancy for others to fill.
  • Alter the landscape to discourage the geese from using it as habitat. Geese prefer short, well-mown lawns that enable them to spot approaching predators from a distance. Let your grass grow to a length of 15 centimetres (6 inches).
  • Reduce goose food sources by using less fertilizer. This will slow down the development of new grass shoots that geese prefer to feed on.
  • Consider installing fencing around the water body on your property or creating a visual barrier along the shoreline by adding rocks or plants.
  • If you're encountering goose problems in a city park, golf course or other facility, contact the municipality.


Download in-depth information on waterfowl control from The Handbook: Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage, published by the University of Nebraska:


Call a Fish and Wildlife officer if you need specific advice on goose problems on your property, or to discuss removal techniques.

Connect with a Fish and Wildlife office near you:

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