The cutouts will be in metro-area parks over the next few months.
The Canada Goose population in Denver has been growing for years, and the controversy around its management has grown right along with it.
Denver Parks and Recreation, which is in charge of managing the geese in city parks, has tried a wide variety of techniques to try to discourage the geese from making metro green spaces their home. Most of those attempts didn't yield much success, which has led the department to cull the geese for the past two years and donate the meat to local food banks and shelters. There is a plan to continue the practice until the populations are at the right numbers.
However, Parks and Rec is hoping its latest tool will help keep as many geese as possible at bay: cardboard cutouts of coyotes.
The idea is that by putting out cutouts of geese's natural predator, it will deter them from landing in parks and making them home. While it might seem like an interesting twist on the pro sports trend of filling empty stands with cutouts, this practice has been around for a while with successful results. It has been found to deter birds more than sound machines, as birds generally have a keen sense of sight.
Denver has a year-round population of geese, and hosts migrating geese, as well. It's the migrating geese that they hope to deter the most. The main issue is that they tend to poop ... a lot, to the tune of a pound a day. Multiply that by hundreds of geese and we have a problem. In addition, many birds tend to outcompete other species or waterfowl.
So, if you see a coyote in Denver parks, particularly one that doesn't seem to be moving, it's likely just cardboard. But either way, live animals or a cutout, give it space and let it do its thing.
What do you think about the latest hazing technique? Let us know in the comments.