|Updated: 4/12/2012 10:01 pm
||Published: 4/12/2012 9:06 pm
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - Burns Park geese volunteers are beginning their training to learn to find goose nests, and oil the eggs, to help keep the goose population down.
Right now a dog is chasing the geese away in Burns Park, but the next step is to prevent new geese from hatching by egg addling.
The City of North Little Rock is working with community volunteers to addle eggs. Park Ranger Kate Finefield says the procedure involves finding and marking nests. "When the eggs have reached a certain point in development, you coat them in vegetable oil, which suffocates the embryo. Then you go back after the goose has sat on them and dispose of the eggs."
The current goose population in Burns Park is down from around 200 to roughly 30, and that's a number much more manageable for the park. Finefield says egg addling prevents more geese from developing. "Deterrents we're doing are the dogs and working on habitat modification, and we also have flashing lights in the lake."
Volunteers say they're willing to participate in the egg addling process because it's more humane than the original proposal of a goose hunt. Wayne Hogan and his wife Linda are heading up the volunteers. "We realize the goose population needs to be reduced, but we're doing it the right way. We're excited to be a part of the non-lethal reduction."
Volunteers will go in groups of two for safety because Finefield says the geese are mean. "Right now is the worst time ever to go up to a goose." Finefield says the geese are paired up and are mating, and at their most aggressive. "If you think you're going to help us out on your own addling eggs, please don't. These are wild animals and they will hurt you."
A list of supplies volunteers will need to take with them include a yellow safety vest, gloves, and protective shoes. Volunteers could come into contact with other animals in the park, like snakes, raccoons or skunks.
Volunteers like the Hogan's say they're willing to do this to because it's better than the alternative of a goose hunt. The Hogan's hope more people will get involved in helping reduce the goose population. "We like to have geese in the park, just not an over abundance of them."
There is one more training session April 21st at 9am at the Burns Park Golf Shop for volunteers. Then they will come up with a schedule for addling eggs to be completed before the end of June.