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Stop the USDA's Killing of Birds at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

This petition had 1,462 supporters


Jamaica Bay, located in southern Queens, is known as the crown jewel of New York City's urban parks. For much of the city's history, this ecological treasure was a wasteland. Before undergoing restoration as a Wildlife Refuge, the park was a dumping ground for garbage, sewage and industrial waste. As a result of attention and advocacy to revive the bay's water quality and once-healthy marshes, today the area provides vital habitat for hundreds of species of local and migratory wildlife.

The rich sounds of this natural oasis are marred by the constant roar of jet engines and the echo of gunshots ringing out at nearby JFK Airport. Through a contract with the Port Authority, the airport employs USDA agents to shoot and kill birds and other animals -- more than 50,000 since 2005 -- purportedly in the name of aviation safety. Under a recent 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals decision, no bird is safe, including protected and endangered species such as the snowy owl, osprey, northern harrier, and American kestrel.

Tragically, since 2012, National Park Service has allowed USDA Wildlife Services access to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge to kill more than 1,000 Canada geese and goslings. The Canada goose population has been decimated as a result of this unnecessary, unscientific, and unethical killing. National Park Service has defended the USDA's killing with false and misleading information, and speculative and weak data.

New Yorkers have mourned and protested in outrage over New York City's secret goose killing. Advocates have presented humane and non-lethal alternatives to ineffective, unscientific, and unethical wildlife killing. GooseWatch NYC activists tirelessly monitored the city's parks, exposing the USDA's secretive operations.

Nevertheless, the assault on Jamaica Bay's wildlife is set to escalate this year. Despite strong opposition, the USDA's Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for Bird Hazard Reduction at JFK Airport could soon expand the killing to include mute swans, double-crested cormorants, blackbirds, crows, pigeons and starlings within the so-called refuge.

Please add your voice -- urge National Park Service: Stop the Port Authority of NY & NJ and USDA Wildlife Services from killing birds at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge!

National Park Service is doing important work to save Jamaica Bay from the effects of human-created environmental pollution and degradation, but the agency has a duty to defend the sanctity of its world-renowned bird sanctuary against needless and indiscriminate killing of wildlife. Only humane and non-lethal methods of controlling wildlife to address the Port Authority's air safety concerns should be used. We urge National Park Service to restore Jamaica Bay as a true wildlife refuge - any wildlife management must be science-based, transparent, and involve public input.

We count on National Park Service to ensure a protected area for all its natural inhabitants. 



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