Icon Under Fire: The Giant Canada Geese of Rochester, Minnesota

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Icon Under Fire: The Giant Canada Geese of Rochester, Minnesota

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For over 30 years the giant Canada goose was thought to be extinct, but in 1962 the species was rediscovered in Rochester, Minnesota. Ever since, the city has held a special bond with the species and specifically its local flock. As the goose population has grown, it has become, in some eyes, an intolerable nuisance and a public health threat. In response to complaints, local officials have taken steps to limit human contact and stymie the flock’s growth, polarizing people supporting and opposing the measures and leaving the city at a crossroads. By analyzing the diverse actions and outcomes of communities across North America that have faced similar issues with Canada geese and acknowledging the unique cultural and economic ties between Rochester and its geese, a course of action is developed and recommended. Such a plan would balance the well being and contentment of the city’s residents with the local connections to the flock, and thus necessarily retain at least some of the geese, while improving their management.


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Eckberg, Daniel. (2012). Icon Under Fire: The Giant Canada Geese of Rochester, Minnesota. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/121512.

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