Hundreds of Canada geese were rounded up in Jamaica Bay for the second year in a row. The captured geese will be euthanized in the name of human air safety. The New York Times is reporting that the controlled slaughter of the geese is an effort on the part of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to cut the Canada geese population in half so they don’t disrupt air traffic.

Just like last year, the meat of the dead geese will be distributed to food pantries across the city. The Times explained why the annual mass goose killings have been authorized:

Hundreds of geese have been removed each summer from parks within a few miles of the area’s major airports and slaughtered — much to the dismay of animal-rights advocates — since 2009, after a US Airways jet was brought down in the Hudson River by a bird strike. The government is trying to nearly halve the Canada goose population in 17 Atlantic states, to 650,000 from 1.1 million.

As the report indicates, animal activists are not happy about the practice.  Edita Birnkrant, New York director of Friends of Animals, expressed her horror to the Times in an email.

“The adult geese and babies were squawking loudly in distress as they were stuffed into the crates. That this is happening in NYC’s only wildlife refuge is stunning.”

The National Parks Service noted that in addition to the 500 geese planned for capture in Jamaica Bay, 322 geese have been captured in parks across the city. According to experts, their population control plans have thus far worked as the number of geese they have nabbed this year has declined.

Still, it’s kind of terribly heartbreaking and sad.

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  • therealguyfaux

    Blame global warming, right?– it’s reminiscent of that scene in the Sopranos where Tony and crew are walking in a park in the wintertime and see geese in a part of the lake that has no ice (most of it). Paulie Walnuts remarks that he always believed geese flew south in the winter, in those long V-formations. Tony tells him, “These geese are from Canada; to them, New Jersey IS south!”

    Because of lack of snowcover, from whatever cause (man-made/natural climate change, or heat-island effect, or efficient removal, or what have you), the New York City area is a locale where geese overwinter and are not migratory, and the population can get well out of hand, owing to lack of predation and lack of incident during migration, combined with the influx of other geese who find the NYC area amenable enough at times, during migration from farther north, that they need not fly any farther south in order to feed. It is sad that the geese are slaughtered. But if the meat feeds the hungry of the human population, all the hand-wringing about our feathered friends just shows the quandary of correct-thinking Leftie privilege poker– who trumps who, homeless shelter or non-endangered animal species?

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      So do you suggest daily killings of local wildlife to sustain the life of the recipients of this murder? Because a few hundred birds will not sustain that many people or last for that long a time.

      • bagels

        So what is the solution? No one wants to see wild geese captured and killed but it is a necessary evil.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          The only accident in recent history that occurred in this area and involved the interaction between a bird and a plane happened outside of New York City.

          These birds are not risks to airplanes because they do not leave the area which is their habitat very often and thusly do not fly at significant altitudes.

        • OnyxE

          Why is it a ‘necessary evil’? How many plane crashes were caused by a goose….one that you know of in aviation history, no fatalities, and that plane hit MIGRATING geese from Labrador Canada. And the FAA data base showing killing geese has made no difference in JFK’s goose strikes and most of them occur during migration. Don’t you notice the USDA never provides any stats..all they do is scare people by saying killing geese ‘keeps planes safe’….no stats.

          Do some reading about what REAL airport wlldife experts do to manage bird strike risks.

          Israel’s Birdstrike Control Program was instituted at Hurlbert Airforce base in Florida and resulted in a 100% REDUCTION OF LETHAL WILDLIFE CONTROL and huge reduction in costs related to birdstrikes; Israel’s program resulted in an unimaginable decrease in costs due to birdstrikes in Israel from over 10 million a year to 82,000 a year. IF the USDA’s killing program was
          achieving anything they would be have some stats to show and they NEVER do.

          ISRAEL’S BIRDSTRIKE CONTROL PROGRAM
          (BCP)
          More than 500 million birds cross Israel’s narrow airspace… twice every year. Many of these birds overnight at or near IAF airbases where some stay days, and even months, to “refuel” before continuing their long migration.

          Prior to BCP’s involvement with the IAF, average annual damage to IAF aircraft due to birds at the Israeli airbases was roughly US $10.3 million/year. SINCE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF BCP’S WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT PROTOCOLS AND GUIDELINES MORE THAN 9 YEARS AGO, THE IAF HAS ONLY SUFFERED A TOTAL OF US $82,000 IN DAMAGE combined for all major airbases that have implemented the program (or roughly US $8,400/year).

          ALL HARASSMENT CONDUCTED BY BCP’S PERSONNEL IS NON-LETHAL AND CONSERVATION FRIENDLY.

          ISRAEL’S BCP INSTITUTED AT HURLBERT AIRFORCE BASE FLORIDA:
          Accomplishments and reductions in costs as
          a result of the wildlife control services provided by BCP’s program at Hurlburt Airfield have been dramatic and resulted in being recognized in a variety of awards and acknowledgements of performance. They include:
          90% reduction in repair cost for bird strikes; 95% reduction in repair costs due to damaging wildlife strikes at Hurlburt Airfield. Note: Three FY06 damaging bird strikes occurred away from Hurlburt Field over low-level training routes; 80% reduction in pyrotechnic
          usage; 100% REDUCTION IN NECESSITY FOR LETHAL CONTROL MEASURES (LCM)
          http://www.birdstrikecontrol.com/results.html

          Bird Strike Committee USA/ Bird Strike Committee Canada 9th Annual Joint Meeting September 10 – 13,
          2007

          As a result of its efforts, Hurlburt Field was awarded the prestigious U.S. Air Force’s General Thomas D. White Natural Resources Conservation Award, with the BASH (Bird Avoidance Strike Hazard) program playing a prominent role in garnering the award.

          Despite the conventional opinion of the air safety community that effective wildlife control cannot be achieved without lethal control and massive habitat destruction, HURLBURT FIELD HAS DRAMATICALLY
          IMPROVED SAFETY THROUGH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PURELY NON-LETHAL METHODS AND
          WITH MINIMAL IMPACT TO ITS LOCAL ENVIRONMENT.

          Dr. Carter has been actively involved in the wildlife management community for the past 21 years and directly involved in wildlife management programs at airports and airfields around the world for the past 10 years. Dr. Carter has personally developed the Wildlife
          Management Hazard Plans (WMHP) and wildlife
          management program for the entire Israeli Air Force at all major airbases in thecountry and was responsible for the development of the bird avoidance strike
          hazard (BASH) programs for the US Air Force at Dover Air Force Base (Dover, Delaware)and Hurlburt Field Special Operations Wing(Ft. Walton Beach, Florida).

          Dr. Carter was also a key consultant for the development ofthe wildlife management program at August Regional Airport (Augusta, Georgia). Dr.Carter also implemented wildlife control utilizing Border collies to actively harasswildlife in existing management programs at Vancouver International Airport(Vancouver, Canada), Cold Lake Air ForceBase (Cold Lake, Canada), and SouthwestFlorida International Airport (Ft. Myers, Florida).

          http://birdstrike.bcrescue.org/conservation.pdf

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            Thank you for the help. Unfortunately, this is known to the agencies that are implementing these extreme solutions. Solutions that involve plane modifications are also rejected. So we have to wonder what the real story is. Perhaps the whys involve something other than plane safety. But I couldn’t even begin to speculate competently.

          • OnyxE

            I think killing geese is a huge cash cow for the USDA WS and these geese ARE the result of government wildlife agencies to increase the goose population for decades right up to the 1990s. They are the result of total mismanagement by humans; all these groups were interested in was having birds for hunters to kill.

            At some point they realized oops we have a lot of geese, so instead of taking responsibility and working with states to implement humane egg addling programs in urban areas years ago – where many people now love the geese as urban wildlife in their communities – they are pretending this is all the goose’s problem and also realized the USDA WS could use the money.

            http://www.predatordefense.org/docs/USDA_article_KansasCityStar_Taxpayers_subsidizing_wildlife_extermination_08-18-2011.pdf

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            I did consider the possibility that reintroduction and other factors which led to large numbers of geese led to a desire to bring numbers down so as to restore ecological balances. This would be understandable, and can be done simply by slowing down the ability of the geese to reproduce. No drama, little controversy.

            USDA has had some budget cuts, as have many federal agencies in recent years. But they need to focus on getting funding where it really matters. Facility inspections are less frequent, and people can die from tainted food.

          • OnyxE

            1.2.1 of the New York Canada Goose Environmental Assessment actually states ‘While the biological carrying capacity for resident Canada geese in NY may be greater than the statewide population, the ‘wildlife acceptance capacity’ is probably lower’. The problem isn’t environment but how humans manage or mismanage their perceived goose problems.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            So they are not upsetting the balance? That was the only fear I had.

      • therealguyfaux

        As opposed to the carcasses going completely to waste, or left in situ for scavengers like e.g., rats, or pulped for use as fertilizer, or some other use? Them birds is goners whatever you do. There must be a cull every now and then both for human safety and for the continued stability of the goose population vis-a-vis the available food sources. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would prefer to feed people with the results of such a cull. So the homeless people won’t get goose at the free kitchen more than once or twice a year– so since they weren’t expecting it anyway, no great loss if we don’t give it to them (and at least try to make something good out of a lot of killing?) We can’t do an act of kindness for HUMANS, is what you’re suggesting?

        Unless, of course, you are some kind of PETA ethical vegan type, in which case nothing I say will persuade you. But many people don’t share your moral certitude on all these points. Sadly, you will not get many converts to your cause at a homeless shelter around Christmas time.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          Are they saving these bird for Christmas Dinner? How thoughtful they are.

          • Andrew Kent
          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            They were there, they couldn’t change the outcome.

            Nevertheless their presence was a reminder that there are questions about the legitimacy of these acts, especially when they occur on what is supposed to be a wildlife preserve.

    • OnyxE

      The reason you have resident geese in NY is because they were planted there by government wildlife agencies and conservation groups like Audubon right up to the 1990s.

      And what happened to the predators? You killed them too. Maybe it’s time to stop killing and try COEXISTENCE.

      Many government agencies including the Dept. of Environmental Conservation, US Fish and Wildlife, Atlantic Flyway Committee all knew what the Canada goose population has been in various states EVERY YEAR since they began efforts to increase their population many decades ago. They have no excuse to suddenly act like the goose population has surprise surprise reached a crisis point.

      And hunters don’t kill geese when they are breeding and molting….babies have NO meat on them and molting geese are sickly geese going through the molt. Giving this pathetic bit of meat to the poor is just passing off USDA roadkill to the unfortunate.

  • OnyxE

    Aside from everything else…how can this meat be given to the starving poor? Jamaica Bay is filthy with human sewage and highly toxic runoff from JFK as well was heavily treated with DDT back in the day to control mosquitoes. In fact human sewage is responsible for most of the destruction of the ‘salt marshes’ which they like to blame on the geese. What a crock. “The
    bay, off the Brooklyn and Queens shoreline, is home to a federal
    wildlife refuge and a popular fishing and boating area. But it has also
    been a depository for discharges from New York City’s sewage treatment
    plants, which is thought to be a MAJOR cause of marsh loss.” http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/its-official-a-timetable-for-jamaica-bays-cleanup/

    “In surface water, DDT will bind to particles
    in the water, settle, and be deposited in the sediment. DDT
    is taken up by small organisms and fish in the water. It accumulates
    to high levels in fish and marine mammals (such as seals and
    whales), reaching levels many thousands of times higher than
    in water. In these animals, the highest levels of DDT are
    found in their adipose tissue. DDT in soil can also be absorbed
    by some plants and by the animals or people who eat those
    crops.”

  • GBM

    Come on, let’s have a moratorium on killing these animals. For years now they’ve paid the price of humans’ fear of flying – how many planes crash from human error? How many crash from hitting birds? The statistics show the geese are very, very, very low on the ‘danger’ scale, if they are, in fact, dangerous at all. New planes are designed to ‘ingest’ birds. And, frankly, the geese, flying at a measly 30mph tops vs a plane at 300mph, who’s hitting whom???? Killing them is a fake-out. They are killed because people don’t like that they poop on the grass. Meanwhile, humans shit on everything. STOP KILLING OUR GEESE!

  • BrooklynBus

    Why does this atrocity receive so little attention by the mainstream media?

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      It has been covered. The Daily News and the NY Times have run stories. As have other media.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      These links aren’t working, I’ll try to correct.

      New York Observer: Inwood Bird Slaughter has Animal Activists Crowing, by Hugh Bassett – July 2, 2013

      NY Daily News: Hundreds More Majestic Canada Geese Killed in Name of Airline Safety in Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, by Lisa Colangelo – July 2, 2013

      New York Times: Annual Goose Roundup Underway in Jamaica Bay, by Andy Newman – July 2, 2013

      Gothamist: Annual Goose Slaughter Underway in Jamaica Bay, by Lauren Evans – July 2, 2013

      Epoch Times: Hundreds of Geese Rounded Up to be Killed in Jamaica Bay, by Jack Phillips – July 2, 2013

      Manhattan Times (English-Spanish): Geese Culling Coils Residents, by Robin Elisabeth Kilmer – June 26, 2013

      A Walk in the Park (blog): Canada Geese Roundup and Slaughter Heads to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, by Geoffrey Croft – July 3, 2013

      SuperVegan (blog): 500 Geese Captured at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, by Elisa Verna – July 2, 2013

      ANIMAL (blog): Goose Roundup Caught on Video in Queens, by Andy Cush, July 2, 2013

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