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Valley News Dispatch

Dozens of Canada geese tagged at Northmoreland Park

Mary Ann Thomas
| Monday, June 18, 2018, 6:18 p.m.
Pennsylvania Game Commission workers tagged dozens of Canada geese on Monday at Northmoreland Park in Allegheny Township,
Jesse Hanz
Pennsylvania Game Commission workers tagged dozens of Canada geese on Monday at Northmoreland Park in Allegheny Township,

Pennsylvania Game Commission officers on Monday rounded up a gaggle of Canada geese in Northmoreland Park in Allegheny Township, corralling them into pens for what some thought was an attempt to thin the flock.

But that was not the case on the first day of the annual geese tagging program conducted by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, according to Jeremy Stempka, a wildlife biologist with the Game Commission.

They banded about 70 geese and will continue the program on private lands and some public areas to band a goal of 560 birds in the southwest region in the next few weeks, Stempka said.

The Game Commission recently visited the Allegheny River in Aspinwall to round up and band geese.

The program helps the Game Commission collect information on the birds' harvest and survival rates and movement patterns.

The Canada geese selected for banding are non-migratory, year-round residents, according to Stempka.

The banding occurs in June because the birds are flightless for a short period of time as they molt and re-grow new feathers.

The state has about 250,000 non-migratory Canada geese, according to Stempka.

Westmoreland County has been trying to thin the geese populations at its NorthMoreland, Twin Lakes in in Hempfield and Unity, and Mammoth in Mt. Pleasant Township parks for years, according to Malcolm Sias, parks and recreation director for the county.

Canada goose hunting in allowed in the parks during special seasons and days.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4691, mthomas@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.

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