Four Legged Assistant Wildlife Officer
June 13, 2011
Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc. (WAA) recently hired a new summer student to assist our Wildlife Officers in managing large birds on airport property. Dash has extensive wildlife management experience from working at various local golf courses. He specializes in Canada Goose management, but also excels at managing ducks and gulls (larger birds). He will be with WAA until July 1st, 2011 and working from the airport Firehall.
When Dash isn’t working, he enjoys long walks, running around and playing fetch. If you haven’t figured it out yet, our new employee is a Border Collie! Dash is with us as part of a trial at the airport. Dash and his handler, Lara Forchuk, are from Border Collie Bird Control based out of Warren, Manitoba.
The Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport is situated under three migratory bird pathways. Our landscape includes wetlands, forest, ditches and two waterways, which provide attractive habitat to wildlife in areas that are often inaccessible to Wildlife Control Officers.
Border Collies are being used at many airports as another tool for Wildlife Control Officers to manage geese and other nuisance bird populations (e.g. Vancouver International Airport and Southwest Florida International). Border Collies are highly intelligent, adaptable and intense working dogs that are able to manage most species of birds in many environments and circumstances. They serve as a humane and effective means to manage birds at airports. By introducing a true predator into the ecosystem, Border Collies represent an actual, not perceived threat to wildlife, thereby eliminating the problems of habituation.
If you’re taking off or landing at the airport, you just might see Dash out in the fields hard at work.
Follow this link to learn more about WAA’s Wildlife Management Program