Goose purge cost $7000

Geese on the water at Port Chalmers before the cull. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery.
Geese on the water at Port Chalmers before the cull. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery.
Efforts to get rid of an evasive gaggle of geese which messed up a Port Chalmers sports field cost the Dunedin City Council almost $7000.

The geese, which moved to Watson Park after splintering off from the Back Beach population, were eventually shot after efforts to move them proved unsuccessful.

The gaggle started off as a group of eight, but in the end 10 geese were shot and killed.

A response to an Official Information Act request showed the council spent $6799.32 on efforts to remove the geese.

The bill was made up of:

● $2423.70 for the 42.5 hours spent on failed efforts to relocate the birds by feeding them grain spiked with sedatives.

● $2948.60 for 60 hours spent culling the birds.

● $1427.02 on tidying up the sports field, including removing goose droppings.

The efforts to get rid of the geese came after their habit of grazing across the park damaged the playing fields and the large quantity of droppings they left behind prompted health concerns.

Council acting group manager parks and recreation Tom Dyer said relocating the geese cost more than  anticipated.

The situation was complicated by pressure from some in the community not to kill the birds, and failed efforts to relocate them were a significant proportion of the total cost.

The council had learnt from the failed relocation attempts  and would be in a better position to make "quick decisions" if the situation occurred again.

Since the birds had been culled there had been no further reports of geese on the park, and it was going to be sown with a grass variety that was less palatable to geese and other birds.

vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz

Comments

What a waste of ratepayers' money. They should have shot them straight away, and whoever is responsible should be sacked.

 

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