By Jason Kolnos
July 05, 2013
PROVINCETOWN — The menacing red bulbous eyes bob above the water's surface in Blackwater Pond. A long bumpy snout and toothy grin complete the kisser only a mother alligator could love.
This sensitive pond located in the Beech Forest area may look like the Florida Everglades these days. But fear not, humans, these gators are fake. Just don't tell that to the Canada geese.
Cape Cod National Seashore officials have installed eight alligator head decoys in a remote section of the pond as a scare tactic to spook geese away from the area.
They are trying to protect a rare aquatic plant called the golden club, recognizable by its white stalk and gold-tipped flower spike. Hundreds of them carpeted the entire surface of the pond decades ago, according to Seashore plant ecologist Stephen Smith.
But the species' numbers have been all but decimated here since the 1980s, with barely two dozen plants remaining. Officials have fingered Canada geese as the main culprit because of their excessive munching on the plant, which is listed as an endangered species in Massachusetts.