New York city, state and federal agencies plan to decrease the state's population of Canada geese from 250,000 to 85,000 and New York City's numbers from 25,000 to just 4,000. Residents and non-residents alike are shocked that officials are advocating gas-chamber death for hundreds of thousands of New York resident geese.
I respectfully request suspension of this violent strategy. Last summer's roundup killed more than 1200 geese. Now officials hope to wipe out two-thirds of the population in a misguided plan to stop airplane strikes.
Destroying geese some distance from airports does not deter strikes. In July an entire flock of Canada geese at Prospect Park were captured and gassed. Some 400 geese, beloved by Brooklyn residents, vanished without warning. Killing these resident geese may have minimal impact on the migratory birds who actually collided with planes.
Dozens of Canada geese have already returned to Prospect Park. That's because killing geese does nothing to modify landscapes and waterways that attract them in the first place. I encourage officials to work with avian experts on population stabilization and site aversion.
GeesePeace, for example, shows how to recruit and train community volunteers to find nests, addle/oil eggs, use repellents, etc. Integrated strategies resolve conflicts with geese and are more enduring than euthanasia. Additionally, airports ought to use radar technology to deter geese.
Please fund non-violent ways to protect planes and passengers from bird strikes. Sweeping eradication does not reduce long-term flock growth. Moreover, elected officials and government agencies should not enact profoundly cruel practices that the public opposes.