University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
Skip to Content
Official UB news and information for the media

Geese Management

Published April 28, 2017

The University at Buffalo respects wildlife. While geese are a public nuisance on campus, the university seeks to manage the problem in a humane way. Tactics, like deploying specially trained dogs, are currently in place to manage the geese issue.  

In 2016, the university began using trained border collies to chase – but not injure – the birds, which makes the campus a less appealing habitat for geese. Trained dogs are commonly used to manage nuisance goose problems.  PETA, the Humane Society and the U.S. Parks Service consider this tactic humane.  The trained dogs, identified by yellow vests and accompanied by a handler, are on campus several times throughout the day and evening March through November.  The goal is to make the geese feel uncomfortable and leave UB property before they have a chance to nest. The handler is present at all times while a dog is deployed and the dogs are leashed when near pedestrians.  

The Department of Environmental Conservation recommended Borders on Patrol to UB. Borders on Patrol is the same company that provides services to Amherst, City of Tonawanda and other WNY property owners. Borders on Patrol employ three different border collies. The cost is approximately equivalent to the annual cost to cleanup geese waste on campus.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, 600+ geese return to UB each spring and additional geese make temporary stops on UB property before moving elsewhere. The use of trained dogs to chase and scare geese is a proven technique to prevent geese from congregating. One study conducted in Western New York found border collies to be the most effective method when compared to other common techniques.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is UB managing the prevalence of geese on campus?

The University at Buffalo respects wildlife. While geese are a public nuisance on campus, the university seeks to manage the problem in a humane way. Tactics, like using deploying specially trained dogs, are currently in place to manage the geese issue.

Why doesn’t UB try to rid the campus of the geese altogether?

Canadian Geese have flocked to and have been nesting on UB’s North Campus for many years.  Although we can’t get rid of these “resident” geese completely, we try to manage the issue in a humane way.  

Why has UB decided to use dogs to get rid of the geese?

Using trained dogs to chase, not harm, the geese is a routine practice used to discourage nuisance geese from settling. UB began using this tactic in spring 2016.

Won’t the dogs harm the geese?

Trained dogs are commonly used to manage nuisance geese problems. The dogs chase - but do not injure - the birds. This makes the campus a less appealing habitat for the birds. The Humane Society, PETA and the U.S. Parks Service consider the use of trained dogs the most effective and humane method to prevent geese from congregating.

Why doesn’t UB just leave the geese alone?

“Resident” geese are a public nuisance on campus and UB routinely receives complaints about them.  During certain times of year, specifically in the spring, nesting couples can become very aggressive. It’s important for the university to try to discourage the geese from settling on campus, and UB’s facilities department also erects fencing between nests and pedestrian pathways.

You’re being mean to the geese.

We respect wildlife and we strive to manage the geese problem on campus in a humane way.  We will continue to look for ways to manage this issue in an effective, yet safe, way. 

How can I learn more about geese management?