Join the RMOW's goose patrol and help keep Whistler's parks clean 

Municipality seeking volunteers to track geese and nesting locations

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF THE RMOW - GOOSE WATCH Goose overpopulation can lead to water quality issues that could have adverse effects on human and fish health.
  • Photo courtesy of the RMOW
  • GOOSE WATCH Goose overpopulation can lead to water quality issues that could have adverse effects on human and fish health.

The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is seeking courageous volunteers to embark on a mission of the utmost importance this month: goose watching.

Members of the public are needed from March until mid-April to track geese and geese nesting locations. Volunteers will be tasked with observing waterways and counting the number of geese observed, noting where they are located and if any nests are seen.

The ideal candidate would live near a waterway or be a frequent visitor to Whistler’s rivers and lakes, or have a yard that is inhabited by geese. Volunteers will be responsible for sending their observations at least two times a week to tschaufele@whistler.ca or in-person at the RMOW Public Works Yard office.

“By joining the RMOW volunteer team, you can help us understand where geese are going and laying their eggs in Whistler,” the release explained. “Your help will contribute to environmental protection in your community.”

Municipal hall has wrestled with Whistler’s growing goose population for several years. Geese overpopulation can lead to threats to human health and fish populations, and can result in water quality issues and park and beach closures. In the summer of 2014, geese dropped up to 34kg of feces a day on the shorelines and grasses at Rainbow Park, which is what likely lead to the closure of several beaches on Alta Lake in August of that year after E. coli levels were higher than recommended.

That same summer, the RMOW recruited a dog handler and his dog to chase the geese from local parks, leading to a significant drop in the bird’s numbers, according to the municipality.

To learn more about this volunteering opportunity, email Tara Schaufele, RMOW environmental technician at fishnwildlife@whistler.ca.

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