USDA Wildlife Services has been lethally removing Canada Geese from the Puget Sound area for 14 years under an interlocal agreement between several cities and entities within this region. The geese are being rounded up in our parks and gassed to death or shot on Lake Washington, as well as elsewhere. In 2014, over 1200 geese were killed by Wildlife Services in just King County alone.
Many humane solutions can be utilized to mitigate conflicts with geese in urban areas. These include reduction of populations through egg addling, use of OvoControl-G (a proven oral birth control method for geese), and sterilization. Various other measures to reduce conflicts include: landscape modifications, goose deterrent products and control techniques, automated devices to clean up goose droppings, and education and public outreach on the need to stop feeding waterfowl.
Health concerns are often cited in order to justify the killing of geese. However, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) web site, “Canada geese are not considered to be a significant source of any infectious disease transmittable to humans or domestic animals.”
The members of the 2015 interlocal agreement to kill geese include Bellevue, Kent, Kirkland, Mountlake Terrace, Port of Seattle - Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Renton, Seattle Parks and Recreation, SeaTac, Tacoma Metro Parks, Tukwila, Woodinville, University of Washington, and Washington State Parks.
Washington State Parks is the latest member of the agreement. In 2013 they directly hired Wildlife Services to kill geese at Lake Sammamish State Park. After saying that they had no plans to kill geese again in any of the state parks, they hired Wildlife Services in 2014 to kill geese at both Lake Sammamish and Deception Pass State Parks.
Killing geese creates a void in the environment, other geese quickly move in, and a new round of killing begins. This creates an endless cycle of killing. The brutal killing of thousands of geese including their newborn goslings is unacceptable. We must do a better job of sharing the earth with wildlife.
There is extensive information on humane alternatives on the internet. Some of these include:
Other important articles are listed below.
Bloody Skies: The Fight to Reduce Deadly Bird-Plane Collisions
Why doesn’t the FAA adopt avian radar tracking to help pilots avoid colliding with birds?http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131108-aircraft-bird-strikes-faa-radar-science/
According to Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger “There’s always this constant tension between doing what’s easiest, what’s quickest, what’s least costly, versus taking the time, making the effort, to doing it right.”
Congressmen question costs, mission of Wildlife Services agency
The USDA will investigate U.S. Wildlife Services after accusations of reckless predator control, abuse of animals and failure to account for costs.
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