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UNF considering border collies to herd geese away from campus

Photo by Rachel Cazares
Photo by Rachel Cazares

The next time you see Canada geese roaming UNF might be the last, in the core of campus at least.

Citing a “health hazard,” UNF is considering moving geese away from the center of campus with a goose control company, according to a press release from the university.

Although the federally-enforced Migratory Bird Treaty Act protects Canadian geese, the press release said the rapidly growing numbers “wreak havoc” by defecating on campus lawns, walkways and waterways. The geese produce two to three pounds of waste per day.

“Geese excrement contains a wide variety of pathogens — including E. coli — capable of infecting humans,” the publication said.

border-collie-1156818_1920The possible solution: border collies.

Geese are naturally scared by the sight of dogs. From there, geese are basically taught and directed to relocate from high-traffic areas, like the Green and the Student Union, to spaces on the outskirts of campus.

Border collies, the publication said, instinctively herd other animals so they will not harm the geese. The practice is supported by organizations such as The USDA Wildlife Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, the Humane Society and PETA. The border collies in the program undergo a three-year training course.

The approximate cost to contract the border collies is $400 a month. The contract would last a year because the geese may come back in that time period.

The university asked faculty, staff and students to send solutions or feedback to the idea to [email protected].

Spinnaker will continue to update this ongoing situation as more information becomes available.

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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  • D

    Devanne JonesDec 4, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    I’ve been saying for years that the geese are nothing but a menace. I’m glad they are finally looking into doing something about them. Though a long term solution could be to try to get the geese taken off the list, because they don’t migrate anymore. I’m not sure what the qualifications are for them to be on the list, but surely the amount of them at UNF and in Jacksonville would suggest that they really don’t need to be as strictly protected.

  • A

    AmandaDec 3, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    The very first time one of the dogs accidentally gets hit by a car is going to be the worst day of ever.