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Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

New Bremen to try and bust goose problem

By Margie Wuebker
NEW BREMEN - Canada geese show up each year without so much as an invitation, frolicking in the municipal swimming pool, sinking their webbed feet into neatly manicured lawns and peppering the area with telltale droppings.
Village councilors Tuesday night agreed the time has come to nip the problem in the bud.
So who they goin' a call?
Goose Busters.
The company, hired for $2,000, will broadcast recorded distress calls in 1-minute bursts to get the geese to move along. The company uses calls recorded by Dr. Philip Whitman, a Capital University professor who met with village officials earlier in the day. He said the method has a 90 to 95 percent success rate.
"Recordings scare away the geese," Village Administrator Wayne York explained. "Hearing their brothers in distress lets them know it's not safe to hang around here anymore."
Whitman has recorded Canada geese in the wild for years providing just the right mix of eight distress calls. The fee covers the cost of two recordings plus related sonic repeller equipment.
Repellers can be moved from place to place throughout the community to thwart nesting habits. The preferred site appears to be the pond at the wastewater treatment plant, where York indicated as many as 200 to 300 birds can be found most days.
The municipal pool is a popular place especially during the summer season with birds winging in for a quick morning dip before the facility opens.
The pool recorded three cryptosporidiosis incidents last year - outbreaks York attributes to goose feces. The gastrointestinal illness caused by parasites necessitated super chlorination followed by closing the pool for at least a day.
"We need to do something if there are health concerns," council President Don Kuck said.
Officials have contacted neighboring property owners regarding the program that should be in place by Feb. 20 before the arrival of early nesters. Representatives of the Kuenning-Dicke Natural Area expressed no desire to take part even though geese have been known to frequent the place.
Canada geese were introduced into Ohio in the 1950s for the benefit of hunting enthusiasts. Their numbers have increased steadily from 5,000 to approximately 140,000. They represent a problem not only in New Bremen but throughout the Grand Lake region.
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