Will they flee from the piercing red eyes?
I found a story about wildlife officials in Cape Cod, Massachusetts who are trying to stop geese from eating an endangered plant in a pond. They decided on a cheap solution, and installed eight fake alligator heads to scare away the geese. They installed them even though no alligators live in Massachusetts, and there’s no real scientific evidence that the decoy alligator heads actually work. But they’re only $30 per head, so I guess they figured, why not?
And here’s where I must quote the article from The Cape Cod Times:
The Humane Society of the United States commended Seashore officials for using nonharmful practices but said other methods have proved more effective than decoys.
"They may work for a short period, but Canada geese eventually find that they aren’t a big threat," said Lynsey White Dasher, the Humane Society’s director of humane wildlife conflict resolution. "Especially in an area where alligators aren’t found."
She said decoys are better used in conjunction with other ways to scare geese away, such as using trained goose-herding dogs or specially designed lasers.
And that’s where I’ll stop, because the article never goes into more detail about how "specially designed lasers" scare away the geese.
That’s what I wanted to know more about, so I had to look it up.
It seems geese do not like being harassed by laser beams. The Ohio Division of Wildlife says that you can scare a goose away at night by shining a laser at it. Red will work, but green lasers have better distance. They don’t work on geese that can’t fly or nesting geese, but scientific studies have shown that the geese never get accustomed to the laser, and the more you harass them with it, the faster they’ll leave.
Goose vs laserpointer
A more dramatic approach
– (Fake) gators lurk in Provincetown, Cape Cod Times>>
– Lasers, Ohio Division of Wildlife (opens PDF)>>