Don’t feed the birds, Wascana Centre campaign urges – Regina

The operators of the Wascana Park in Regina ask you to leave grain, vegetables and bread at home the next time you visit the lake.

While feeding the park’s wildlife can provide an up-close and personal experience with animals like the legendary Canada goose, experts say it can also have consequences.

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“Feeding wildlife can lead to a loss of fear of people, so in this case we have a lot of geese in the park that will come and kind of destroy your picnic,” said Provincial Capital Commission ecologist Sarah Romuld.

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“They can develop quite aggressive behavior. And in some areas, wildlife congregates, which can lead to disease transmission.”

Romuld says feeding wild animals can also cause problems, such as: B. the introduction of invasive/harmful/undesirable vegetation from uneaten grains and seeds. She said cases of angel wings, which can render young waterfowl unable to fly, have also been discovered.

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New signs in the park display a QR code directing users to a website explaining the dangers of feeding wildlife.

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That’s why the Wascana Centre, a branch of the PCC, has launched the second phase of its ‘No Feeding Initiative’, which includes newly installed signs that visitors to the park will see in high traffic areas.

The Wascana Center “Bread is bad for me” started back in 2015, phase one of the initiative.

This campaign encouraged park visitors to leave the bread at home and instead bring grains or vegetables if they wanted to feed wildlife.

Now, in phase two of the initiative, park visitors are being asked to stop feeding wild animals entirely.

“Now we’re trying to communicate, okay, we’ve made that switch, but we don’t actually need to feed wildlife at all,” Romuld said.

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“We are in a natural area and there are many resources that they can use to forage naturally. So we’re just trying to do the last step, not feeding at all.”

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PCC Forestry and Horticulture Manager Lisa Esmond reminded visitors that the prairie park is the result of generations of dedicated labor and it takes everyone’s efforts to keep it as wild as possible.

“This is a hand planted beautiful masterpiece. Before, before the park, this was just farmland,” she said.

Romuld adds that there’s another benefit to leaving your goose feed at home, which may be the easiest for many parkgoers to identify with.

“They don’t congregate in these high-traffic areas, so they don’t overeat, and as a result, there’s less excrement.”

While the number of people frequenting the park may decrease with cooler weather, Canada geese numbers will remain high.

Up to 10,000 geese use the Wascana Center each fall as a migratory rest stop en route to warmer climes such as South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.

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For the best birding experience, Romuld suggests arriving at the park in the morning and bringing binoculars, adding that birds can be seen on parts of the lake near aerators throughout the winter, such as B. near Pine Island where the water does not normally freeze.

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