Canadian Geese walk across the frozen Potomac River with the Memorial Bridge and Rosslyn, Va. in the background, January 22, 2014 in Washington, DC

Park rangers in the US capital are gearing up for a wild goose chase. Literally.

The National Park Service said Tuesday it's making plans to relocate a large and growing population of Canada geese from the National Mall, the nation's symbolic "front yard."

Border collies, bred to herd sheep, will be called in to round up the waterfowl, in hopes that they will be encouraged to go flock somewhere else.

"No birds will be physically harmed during the hazing process," the federal government agency promised in a statement.

The problem is not so much the themselves as their droppings—as much as three pounds (1.4 kilograms) per goose per day.

The large amount of feces represent a public health hazard, and also threaten to damage pumps and filters in the Reflecting Pool at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial.

The National Park Service is inviting the public to comment online on its project through April 22, but did not specify when the chase would begin.

The National Mall stretches from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, with the White House off to the north. The Washington Memorial is among its landmarks.