Drone Wildlife Control: Goosebuster Beach Patrol
The city of Ottawa has a new weapon in the fight to ward off some pesky Canada geese that dominate some local beach areas: The Goosebuster drone. Steve Wambolt designed a radio-controlled hexacopter system that broadcasts predator noises to herd the birds away from the beach. Since the program started, the beach has only been closed for one day and officials say E. coli rates dropped after Goosebuster patrols started.
Wildlife Control: GOOSEBUSTER™
“I spent a couple weeks researching and coming up with the lights and sounds to add to the drone,” said Wambolt who originally tried to sell the city a means to survey property using his remote control drone system. Instead, Orleans ward councilor Bob Monette, who made ridding the beach of geese part of his mandate, suggested using the drone for the task.Luckily for Ottawa beach dwellers, Wambolt’s non-lethal system has had devastating effects: Last year Orleans Online reported 140 geese were spotted at the beginning of the season, with less than 24 by the end.
Starting early in the morning, Wambolt has his drones dive-bombing unsuspecting geese who are chased away to alternative grazing lands. Like other migratory birds, the Canadian goose has migratory patterns and traditional nesting grounds they return to yearly. With repeated and scheduled flights, his Goosebuster disrupts this pattern by retraining the goose to think a predator is in the area.
“The Goosebuster drone appears as a predator,” he said. “We have the advantage of being able to fly and chase the geese a short distance. It uses custom lights and sounds designed to (scare) geese.”