9 a.m., Aug. 21)
control drone keeping geese at bay on Petrie Island
By Fred Sherwin
Orleans Ward Coun. Bob Monette examines the
'Goosebuster' aerial drone as operator Steve
Wambolt looks on. Ottawa Sun Photo
years trying to find an effective way to keep geese from
polluting Petrie Island, the city has finally found a
device that appears to be doing the job.
Aerial Perspective founder Steve Wambolt originally tried
to sell the city a means to survey city property using
a remote control drone. When Orléans Ward Coun.
Bob Monette saw the presentation he thought of another
use for the device.
Island has been plagued with marauding Canada Gesse ever
since the city turned the former sand quarry into a public
beach and landscaped it with grass. That was in 2007.
the years the migrating geese population has grown into
well over 100. The geese graze on the grass, leaving their
feces in their wake. The feces break down when it rains
and leaches into the sand and the water causing high levels
of e-coli bacteria.
city has used sound devices and human deterents in the
past with limited success. They agreed to pay Wambolt
$60 an hour up to a maximum of $30,000 as a pilot project.
hit the beach with his remote control drone, dubbed "The
Goosebuster", at the beginning of the month. He usually
arrives at 4 a.m. and operates the drone, which blasts
predator sounds using an ammplification system, for three
hours. He then returns later in the day for another two
or three hours.
Wambolt and his Goosebuster hit the beach the geese population
has dropped from a high of 140 on July 29 to no more than
a couple of dozen stubburn birds.
going forward our strategy, instead of waiting for them
to land on the beach and chase them off, is to get there
before they land. Were hoping once they find the
area inhospitable enough, they wont come back,
most migratory birds, Canada Geese are creatures of habt.
They usually return to traditional nesting grounds year
after year unless their habit is broken by a deterent.
In this case the drone.
says the budget should allow him to continue to operate
until October. City staff will assess the success of the
device at that time and decide whether or not to fund
the program for next year.
city spent over $1 million to create the beach and park
on Petrie Island which is severely underutilized given
the surrunding population. Attendance has been down due
to the public's perception that the water is unsafe, which
is fueled by media reports of sewage spills into the Ottawa
River every time there is a heavy rainfall.
reality the occurences are very infrequent and the river
current and multiple days of sunshine and high temperatures
act as a natural filltration system.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business
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