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Lily Abrahams
Geese seen eating leftover corn that had been thrown on the ground near the highway, U.S. Route 7.

Safety measures taken for wildlife at Fountain Pond

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By Friday, Jun 17, 2016 Environment 3

Great Barrington — In response to complaints that people are feeding geese next to a busy road, compromising their safety, the state will put up four signs at Fountain Pond next Route 7.

The state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will post signs at Fountain Pond that say, “Please do not feed the waterfowl,” in response to many passionate complaints from Great Barrington residents who noticed park goers feeding corn and white bread to the Canada Geese, according to DCR Regional Director Michael Case.

Case told the Edge that Berkshire Natural Resources Council Executive Director Tad Ames called him to discuss the matter after receiving phone calls.

Goslings seen with goose walking close to the road and throughout the parking lot. Photo: Lily Abrahams

Goslings seen with goose walking close to the road and throughout the parking lot. Photo: Lily Abrahams

According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, feeding geese low nutrition foods such as corn or white bread can cause joint disfiguration, disease or death. Feeding can also cause overpopulation and lead to land degradation as a result.

The other danger is desensitization to people. At Fountain Pond, for instance, the geese have allowed humans to come surprisingly close, and the increase in interaction with people is bringing the birds nearer the road, where some have been killed.

Conservation Commission Agent Shep Evans said the geese have been leaving the pond and congregating on the strip of grass next to the road in search of food, and have been seen bringing their goslings out dangerously close to the road.

Case said his agency was grateful for the large interest from the community in the welfare of the geese. One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, spent great amounts of time at the pond educating people about the dangers of feeding.

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3 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Laury epstein says:

    Nice article, lily.

  2. Daniel May says:

    Excellent writing, Lily. As for the content, the time has clearly come for GB’s geese to adopt a diet of organic, non-GMO corn and gluten-free bread. I blame the select board for not addressing this urgent matter sooner. And the signs– obviously our feathered friends deserve to have state-funded signage installed immediately; their well-being, it seems, trumps even the potential fatalities at the MMRHS intersection.

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