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Booming Goose Population Making A Mess Of Long Island Courses As Golf Season Begins

BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- It's golf season, and that means you'll have to be careful when you step across many of the courses in the New York area.

That's because golf season is also goose season.

As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported, some Long Island municipalities are at their wit's end trying to keep up with the clean up.

Golfers are flocking to the greens, and so are the geese -- in record numbers. A goose population explosion is turning tee time into cleanup time.

"You have to hose your shoes off after," Lillemar Tuccillo said.

The poop problem is at golf courses, parks, and playgrounds across Long Island. Especially at the South Shore which lies in the path of the Atlantic Flyway, a busy migration route.

Canada geese like local parks and golf courses for the same reason that people do. They're quiet, wide open, and have water.

"It's almost like a perfect storm. Ideal breeding area for them, ideal feeding area, they have water," Babylon Village Mayor Ralph Scordino said.

And they are absent any natural predators. The result is that New York now has three times as many geese as it ought to, said the Department of Environmental Conservation.

There are 200,000 geese in the area with each one dropping more than a pound of droppings every day.

To flush away poop covered playing fields and beaches Babylon is dipping newly hatched eggs in oil to humanely disrupt breeding.

They will also be sending specially trained dogs on a wild goose chase of sorts.

"The program definitely works. You can't expect 100 percent though because the minute we have a gap they come in," Babylon Chief Environmental Analyst Rich Groh said.

The Babylon Village Golf Course is also going high-tech using drones to nudge a flock away.

"One drone will help us try to herd them onto the lake," Scordino explained.

Not all golfers mind what's underfoot.

"I'm a naturalist, old school," one man said.

But experts said the droppings contain pathogens that pollute.

Above all they said don't feed the geese. The problem is that they have plenty to eat already.

The Babylon Village course will get its drone this summer for less than $300.


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