Geese-icide

Erik Hayden at The Atlantic with the round-up

Isolde Raftery at New York Times:

It’s a doomsday plan for New York’s geese.

A nine-page report put together by a variety of national, state and city agencies shows that officials hope to reduce the number of Canada geese in New York to 85,000 from 250,000.

That means that roughly 170,000 geese — two-thirds of the population — will be killed.

The nearly 400 geese gassed to death this month after being rounded up in Prospect Park in Brooklyn — as well as an unknown number of other geese killed in New York City in recent weeks — were but a small part of the ambitious overall goal outlined in the document, which was obtained by City Room.

“The state of New York has close to 250,000 resident Canada geese, which is more than three times the state’s population goal of 85,000,” the report states. It is unknown how many have been killed so far.

Choire Sicha at The Awl:

The War Against Birds (Birds: We Have Always Been At War With Them!) just got insanely serious: “A nine-page report put together by a variety of national, state and city agencies shows that officials hope to reduce the number of Canada geese in New York to 85,000 from 250,000.” By, you know, euthanizing them and burying them. (Somehow, may I add, actually eating them doesn’t seem to have occurred to anyone?)

I guess… we’re winning.

Mike Vilensky at New York Magazine:

What?! That is goose genocide! Hopefully a few of these geese have their special flight feathers strapped on again and survive, without holding it against humans for systematically gassing and killing their families, so that we can someday improve the now out-of-control goose-human relations. We’re sorry, Sticky!

Dan Collins at Huffington Post:

There’s a war going on between the goose-lovers and the goose-exterminators. I may have already given this away, but I am on the side of the exterminators.

Anybody who hasn’t been living in a cave for the last couple of years knows that in January 2009, a flock of geese ran into a US Airways plane that had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport, forcing the plane to land in the Hudson. Ever since we have spent our official American celebrations applauding Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the most popular old guy in the country.

It has also caused us to rethink our position on geese. There are about 20,000 Canada geese living in the region. While they’re far from the only birds who run into airplanes, their size and their tendency to fly in large groups makes them a special danger. In 1995, an Air Force surveillance plane ran into a flock in Alaska and crashed, killing all 24 people on board.

After Flight 1549, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the Wildlife Service, agreed that Canada geese could be rounded up from city-owned properties within five miles of LaGuardia or Kennedy Airport. It’s since been expanded to seven miles.

This year, while the geese were molting and earthbound over the past few weeks, official goose-killers working with the Department of Agriculture rounded up about 1,200 and took them off to be euthanized. There are other ways to control the goose population – you can oil their eggs so they won’t hatch, or hire a border collie to shoo them off to a different location. But just grabbing the suckers and gassing them is by far the simplest.

Not everybody agrees this is a good idea. After several hundred geese were removed from Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Paper, in an editorial entitled Meadows of Shame, said it was “a horrifying crime that not only calls into question our abilities as stewards of the earth but also our core values as a species.”

And – irony of ironies – the one place where the geese are not being rounded up at all is the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, which is virtually right next door to JFK. It’s run by the National Park Service, which has refused to allow goose collectors from the Department of Agriculture to round any of them up.

“We have not documented the fact that these geese are in fact a danger to the flying public,” said Dave Avrin, a National Park Service official.

“The safety of the flying public is important to the National Park Service,” he added. “But in order to take a major action such as the removal of the geese we have to go through a compliance process.”

Adrian Chen at Gawker:

Goodbye, geese. New York is planning to “reduce the number” of Canada geese in the state from 250,000 to 85,000. They’re not shipping 170,000 geese off to a magical gooseland, though. They’re killing them.

On July 14, 400 Geese were rounded up in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and gassed, sparking such outrage you would have thought they were 400 little infants. But that was just the opening salvo of a full-fledged War on Geese: a new report has deigned that two-thirds of the population of New York’s Canada geese must be slaughtered due to safety and health concerns.

On the bright side, here is an excellent recipe for slow cooker barbecue goose sandwich.

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1 Comment

Filed under Animal Rights

One response to “Geese-icide

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