Managing Unwelcome Geese

Growing numbers of Canada geese are taking up residence in the Midwest instead of migrating in the spring and fall. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Annie MacDowell reports, government officials and environmental groups are coming up with creative ways to control the growing population:

Transcript

Growing numbers of Canada Geese are taking up residence in the Midwest instead of
migrating in the spring and fall. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Annie
Macdowell reports – government officials and environmental groups are coming up with
creative ways to control the growing population:


Canada geese are becoming a familiar sight on front lawns and in retention ponds across
the Midwest. Goose excrement is a nuisance to residents and bacteria in their feces can
make people sick. Vid Rapsys owns an Illinois franchise of the “Geese Police.” This
special force uses border collies to gather and frighten geese away from private property
without hurting them.


“Tell the dog to come by while it’s in the water. It’s going to swim in a clockwise motion
around the geese in the water. The geese become very unnerved when animals come in
the water after them. Especially animals that looked like they were stalking them on land
and now there’s someone after them in water.”


But Rapsys adds the Border collies don’t offer a permanent solution. Usually the birds
just fly a couple of miles away and settle in someone else’s lawn or pond. More
permanent options involve shaking goose eggs or covering them with vegetable
oil, which stops the growth of the embryo. But aside from killing geese during hunting
season, people are not allowed to harm a Canada goose. They’re protected by a law
written in the early 1900s.


For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Annie
MacDowell.

Bear Activity in National Park Increases

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore plans to step up its education campaign about the do’s and don’ts of living in bear country. Park officials hope that will end this past summer’s encounters between campers and bears. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Mike Simonson reports:

Transcript

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore plans to step up its education campaign about
the do’s and don’ts of living in bear country. Park officials hope that will end this past summer’s encounters between campers and bears. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Mike
Simonson reports.


With about 30 bears on Stockton Island, some of them decided to swim for a less-
crowded scrounging area. So, this summer, campers reported bears rummaging through
their food on neighboring islands – forcing the Park Service to close a couple of
campsites.


Apostle Islands Resource Specialist Julie Van Stappen says the bear population may be a
little crowded. And even though there has been an annual hunt of bears since the mid-1990’s, she doesn’t expect much help thinning out the bear population from hunters.


“Very few people do it. You have to get out to the islands and there’s no motorized equipment allowed, so it would be a very different hunt.”


Next summer, Van Stappen says instead of moving bears or closing campsites, the best
bet is to educate campers about storing food, and not attracting bears in the first place.
She says that would be the simplest way to end the close encounters of the bear kind on
the Apostle Islands.


For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Mike Simonson.