Goose Eggs Destroyed in Millsboro - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Goose Eggs Destroyed in Millsboro

MILLSBORO, De. - Neighbors said they saw it all happen from their porches. Workers recently came to the Commons at Raddish Farms, collected goose eggs, and then destroyed them. This was all part of a legal effort to control the goose population, although it's creating some debate in Sussex County. 

Geese are an invasive species, and can be destructive to their environment. For that reason the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits for people to destroy goose eggs. At the development in Millsboro, the retention pond where they all gather is a common area, and for that reason the local homeowners association oversaw the removal and destruction of these eggs. President Steve McIlvine said the action was necessary for two fundamental reasons. 

"We have anywhere from 30 and 50 geese sometimes in the summer time," he said. "A few people like them but overall it's a problem. Just with the feces and the health hazards involved with them. Plus they keep the mallards away. The more geese you have, the less mallards you have." 

It's the latter argument that has created the most concern from The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. An official from DNREC told WBOC that the invasive species can be damaging to other wildlife. They said the population is starting to proliferate in Sussex County. 

Some neighbors like Wanda Santarelli are less on board with the actions. 

"They're life," she said of the eggs. "And I just don't want them to kill them because I enjoy them every year."

DNREC has issued regulations on the destruction of these eggs. Those workers permitted to destroy the eggs need to drop the eggs in a bucket of water in order to see if air has entered the shell or not. If the eggs sink to the bottom, they would have permission to destroy the egg. Meanwhile, if it floated, that would signify that air was entering the shell. In that situation, they would have to leave the egg alone. This testing process is meant to make the elimination process more humane. 

McIlviine said the problem was necessary to keep the community clean and safe. 

"An adult goose poops every 6 to 8 minutes," he said. "They poop throughout the whole day long.  And when you have kids or pets on the walking paths in the community, there are certain health concerns too."

This practice goes far beyond just in Millsboro. WBOC reached out to DNREC, which said this is a national problem, but has always been an issue in Delaware. 
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