Petition Closed
Petitioning Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and 31 others
This petition will be delivered to:
Manhattan Borough President
Scott Stringer
National Park Service
Dave Avrin
USDA
Martin Lowney
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Inspector General
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
United States Dept. of Agriculture
Secretary Tom Vilsack
New York State Attorney General
Eric Schneiderman
New York City Council Speaker
Christine C. Quinn
NYC Comptroller
John Liu
NYC Public Advocate
Bill DeBlasio
William Thompson, Jr.
Representative
Jerrold Nadler
Senator
Kirsten Gillibrand
NYC Councilmember
Melissa Mark-Viverito
NYC Councilmember
Mark Weprin
NYC Councilmember
Jimmy Van Bramer
NYC Councilmember
Peter F. Vallone, Jr.
NYC Councilmember
James Vacca
NYC Councilmember
Eric Ulrich
NYC Councilmember
James S. Oddo
NYC Councilmember
Stephen Levin
NYC Councilmember
Brad Lander
NYC Councilmember
Karen Koslowitz
NYC Councilmember
Peter Koo
NYC Councilmember
Letitia James
NYC Councilmember
Vincent J. Gentile
NYC Councilmember
Inez Dickens
New York State House
New York State Senate
New York Governor
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Patrick J. Foye (Port Authority of New York and New Jersey)
Secretary of the US Dept. of the Interior
Sally Jewell (Secretary of the US Dept. of the Interior)

Mayor Bloomberg and Sen. Gillibrand: Stop Killing NYC's Canada Geese

1,968
Supporters

Hundreds of Canada geese have been cruelly slaughtered in NYC this summer in the false name of air safety. Since the landing of US Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson River in January of 2009, the City of New York has contracted with USDA Wildlife Services for hundreds of thousands of dollars to round up and slaughter thousands of Canada geese and goslings from New York City's parks. Last summer, Sen. Gillibrand introduced federal legislation which led to the roundup and slaughter of hundreds of geese at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge this summer and last. These slaughters are inhumane and an ineffective waste of taxpayer dollars.

Canada geese are beautiful, intelligent birds who mate for life, fiercely protect their eggs and young, and display loyalty for other members of their flock. The methods that USDA Wildlife Services uses to kill geese are broadly understood to be grossly inhumane. During the hottest months of the year flightless geese and goslings are corralled, packed into turkey crates and transported to slaughterhouses or gas chambers; to do so in a wildlife refuge is completely unacceptable, violating the essential concept of a refuge.

Killing Canada geese in the name of air safety is inherently flawed. Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Gillibrand claim that killing geese prevents bird strikes, but all leading bird strike scientists disagree. Many major cities around the world are keeping airports safe from potential bird strikes without resorting to lethal methods. Aviation experts have reiterated that a cull will not make the skies safer for flying. “The consensus among wildlife experts appears to be that a goose cull won’t really do much to reduce the likelihood of bird strikes, especially since there are dozens of birds that use the [Jamaica Bay] preserve,” Russ Niles, editor-in-chief of AVweb.com wrote in a May 6 editorial. “I have not seen where [culling] has been effective as a long-term solution," said Jim Hall, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board under the Clinton administration. Ron Merritt, a biologist and former Chief for the Air Force’s Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard Team agrees, adding, “Killing 1,000 geese really isn't going to do anything. If you kill them, nature will fill that vacuum and a new species will pop up in its place." Environmentalists know the golden rule of ecosystems: if one species is removed, another species will take over.

Research shows that the most effective programs use long-term, non-lethal strategies that reduce or remove the physical conditions that attract particular species to an airport. Birds can be kept out of the pathways of aircraft by employing proven radar detection systems and dissuasive tactics. Habitat modification is also being used successfully to discourage populations of geese from colonizing. Geese numbers can be humanely reduced using proven methods developed especially for use in Canada geese.

The USDA Canada goose slaughters are conducted without community notification, transparency, or accountability. The roundups of Canada geese are financed by taxpayers and conducted by a federal agency in city parks, which are public spaces. The public has a right to transparency of governmental operations, and at a minimum, to view video documentation of the treatment of Canada geese during the roundups in order judge for themselves whether they support these extreme measures.

GooseWatch NYC was formed in 2011 in response to the roundup and killing of Canada geese in New York City parks that started in 2009. Recently, the organization has assisted with grassroots efforts in ScarsdaleMamoroneck and North Hempstead, where the planned killing of geese was called off. For more information, please visit www.goosewatchnyc.com.


Letter to
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer
National Park Service Dave Avrin
USDA Martin Lowney
and 29 others
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Inspector General
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
United States Dept. of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn
NYC Comptroller John Liu
NYC Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio
William Thompson, Jr.
Representative Jerrold Nadler
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
NYC Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito
NYC Councilmember Mark Weprin
NYC Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer
NYC Councilmember Peter F. Vallone, Jr.
NYC Councilmember James Vacca
NYC Councilmember Eric Ulrich
NYC Councilmember James S. Oddo
NYC Councilmember Stephen Levin
NYC Councilmember Brad Lander
NYC Councilmember Karen Koslowitz
NYC Councilmember Peter Koo
NYC Councilmember Letitia James
NYC Councilmember Vincent J. Gentile
NYC Councilmember Inez Dickens
New York State House
New York State Senate
New York Governor
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Patrick J. Foye (Port Authority of New York and New Jersey)
Secretary of the US Dept. of the Interior Sally Jewell (Secretary of the US Dept. of the Interior)
I am writing to express my opposition to the killing of geese in New York City by USDA Wildlife Services.

Canada geese are beautiful, intelligent birds who mate for life, fiercely protect their eggs and young, and display loyalty for other members of their flock. USDA agents will capture vulnerable geese during the summer molt, when they can't fly, separate parents from their babies, and truck them to slaughter - methods that are controversial and widely understood to be grossly inhumane. During the hottest months of the year flightless geese and goslings are corralled, packed into turkey crates and transported to slaughterhouses or gas chambers. The slaughter of geese in New York City has been condemned by local and national animal advocacy organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States, In Defense of Animals, Friends of Animals, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA).

Killing the geese is not an effective solution, and will only clear the area temporarily as other geese will repopulate the vacant desirable habitat, totally undermining the effectiveness of lethal measures. A long term strategy is required to resolve the conflict. New York City should do what many other major cities around the world are doing to keep airports safe from potential bird strikes, such as employing proven radar detection systems and dissuasive tactics that keep birds out of the pathways of aircraft.

New York City residents do not want tax dollars spent on exterminating Canada geese in our parks, a horrid example for children to whom we teach tolerance and co-existence with wildlife. Canada geese are part of New York City, and part of our communities.

I ask you to please speak out against the senseless killing of geese at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and in New York City parks, and instead work with aviation experts and animal advocates to come up with a plan that is humane and effective.