Dogs patrolling areas with heavy geese populations to curb the birds’ presence

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — Dozens of geese can be found around the University at Buffalo’s campus.

“It’s their nesting season they’ve become very aggressive,” said Garrett Cygan, a Wildlife Management Specialist.

Cygan is one of the team members working to keep the population rates low. Bogey, a nine-year-old border collie, is another.

“He loves working,” said Cygan, Bogey’s owner.

The pair travels around Western New York together, going to places with geese population problems.

“We get complaints that geese are attacking clients or students,” said Cygan. “We’re trying to have a behavior modification that allows the geese to know they’re not the only ones on the property.”

Bogey and Cygan do laps around campus, marking their territory, letting the geese know they’re there, too.

“With the dogs being on a leash walking or off a leash, the geese see that and stick to their nests,” said Bogey’s owner. “So then they want to stay near the water, don’t want to attack anyone, and know they should be low key.”

The Department of Environmental Conservation reports there’s an issue with geese all around the state. At last count, the DEC estimated there are 270,000 geese, while reporting 80,000 would be ideal. At UB, this year, they have around 50 to 60 geese right now. When they eggs hatch, they could have a few hundred. Bogey and his owner’s presence on campus cuts down on the nests found in the area, as the geese are either finding different spots to lay eggs or they’re not around to lay them.

“They were everywhere last year,” said Cygan, who estimates there are 25% fewer nests this year. “Now there aren’t as many.”

He says it takes several encounters with Bogey for the geese to get the message.

“It’s a long process but effective.”

And sometimes, that means long days. But both Bogey and Cygan seem like they’re doing okay and don’t mind at all.

“I get to work with my best friend every day.”


Click here to learn more about Borders on Patrol.

WIVB.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s