It turns out that the 400 Canada Geese recently rounded up in Prospect Park and gassed to death are only the tip of the iceberg. New York State has plans to kill two-thirds of the state’s population of Canada Geese, or 170,000 of the state’s estimated 250,000 geese.
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I sort of saw why they did the Prospect Park cull, even if I thought it was pointless, but this? This might be just about the absolute stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.
I assume they are going to euthanize the 2/3 that hang out near airplanes? 🙂
Hopefully someone will be able to use the meat , that’s a lot of goose.
From the article:
“The captured geese are placed alive in commercial turkey crates. The geese would be brought to a secure location and euthanized with methods approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Euthanized geese would be buried.”
I’m really torn on this one. On the one had, we have the systematic killing of a species which has done nothing wrong, on the other the Canadian Goose population is out of control in NYS and may be contributing to the declines of other marsh birds such as Am. Black Duck, Blue-winged Teal and Pied-billed Grebe because of way the way geese defend their territories (this is only theory, so don’t jump on me 🙂 ).
Canadian Geese are NOT native breeders to NYS and were largely aided by man to become established (they didn’t need much help). You wouldn’t see many people upset if this was European Starling they were doing this too, but is there a difference? An invasive Species is an invasive Species.
We put em there. They are destroying prime habit for other species. They need to be taken care of. Its the same for white-tailed deer, purple loosestrife, etc. It’s hard, but when you let emotions in on stuff like this, you can make a decision based on the wrong facts.
Resident Canada Geese in the northeast are an introduced taxon and a terrific strain on the habitats required by native organisms.
The plan should be to remove all 250,000, to outlaw the introduction of more, and most importantly to restore to something like their natural state the industrial parks and corporate lawns that are such a hotbed of reproduction for these birds.
And then to do the same everywhere Canada Geese have been introduced.
What really gets my goat is that this goose fiasco–now of some decades’ duration–seems to have gone utterly unnoticed by those in favor of introducing Trumpeter Swans to areas outside their historic breeding range.
PS: Right on, Drew. Apologies for repeating what you’d just said!
Horrible. I hope someone who has influence reads your blog.
I’m less concerned about killing the geese and more concerned about the enormous outlaw of resources to kill 2/3 of them only to be in the same position 5 years down the line.
Canada Geese are reproduction machines along the lines of Rabbits and Goats. This solves nothing.
Guh, that should of course be “outlay of resoures”…
While it’s true that nonmigratory Canada Geese are something of an environmental novelty (I think ‘invasive’ is a bit inflammatory in this instance; this is a human-aided habitat shift in a species already native to the landmass, not unlike what we’ve seen with e.g. Northern Cardinals or Wild Turkeys), the only way to actually eliminate them would be to eliminate the breeding habitat they rely on, which would be a cure more severe than the disease.
It’s not like this is Guam or something. New York State can kill resident geese forever, but they’ll simply recolonize from neighboring states. In terms of protecting other wetland birds, we can spend our limited public money in more effective ways, I would think.
I do not understand birders being upset over controlling FERAL animals. Which is what non-migratory Canada Geese are. They are non-natural, destructive pests – just like Mute Swans.
Non-migratory Canada Geese and (semi)domesticated Mallards harbor diseases in waterfowl areas through the summer, which is a threat to our wild + native waterfowl when they return in fall from the breeding grounds. They also compete for food with wild+native waterfowl.
This is quite different from migratory Canada Geese – which are wild birds that are an important part of our native North American ecosystem.
Do you bleeding hearts object to feral cat control too?
Birders had better start speaking up on the difference between FERAL and WILD waterfowl, because the press, public and civic leaders conflate the two all the time. But it is an important distinction!
@Nate Dias: Which bleeding hearts, exactly, are you referring to? I see people commenting in support of a more drastic control program and criticizing how this one will be done (wasting all that goose meat, culling 2/3 is pointless considering how prolific Canada Geese are, and, even if New York removes all of the resident geese there are plenty in states next door). Other commenters already made the points that you had made, and made them without calling names.
Frankly, I would have the same quibbles about controlling feral cats, yes. Controlling feral cats at Breezy Point = good idea that should be vigorously pursued. Controlling feral cats on my block of Bed Stuy in Brooklyn, where the chief avian inhabitants are rock pigeons and Black-throated Brown Warblers? Probably not the most productive use of money or time if your goal is to protect the native birds of New York State. Controlling all feral cats across all of New York? Not possible, even if you spent all the money there is, forever. Trying to control all the feral cats in New York State because of a highly-publicized disaster (say a rabies case) and then tacking on a conservation justification? Absurd and cynical.
You have to choose your battles.
good riddance to the flying rats, kill them all!
I agree with the previous post. Kill them all. I understand people who are upset about killing wild life. But nonmigratory canada geese are a pest, much like rats are in nyc.