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Help Stop Park Geese From Being Gassed

If you’ve never been to New York City’s Prospect Park, you’re missing out on an amazing experience.

Prospect Park is a huge city park in Brooklyn that features a woodlands area, a children’s zoo, a fantastic meadow and a beautiful lake. I can honestly say it’s one of the best city parks I’ve ever been to.

That’s why when I heard New York City was rounding up the friendly geese who live at the park in order to gas them, I was thoroughly outraged. Fortunately, so were many people who lived nearby.

Over the weekend, frequent park visitors and animal rights groups held protests at the park condemning the city’s contract with the USDA to exterminate Canada geese. Over the past two years, more than 2,800 Canada geese have been captured and gassed with carbon dioxide, because the mayor deems them an aviation danger after they contributed to the plane crash in the Hudson River a few years ago.

Last summer, the city killed the geese and are possibly planning to do so again before the contract with the USDA expires on June 30. Many people, including council members, fifth graders and chefs, are all trying to dissuade the city from renewing its contract by suggesting other ways to control Canada geese populations.

Most recognize that the geese pose some risk, but don’t agree that they should be gassed when they’re molting and unable to fly.

The Prospect Park Alliance, the Humane Society, Brooklyn College and other groups are working together to find a better alternative to limit Canada geese populations. For example, they suggest possibly enacting a ban on feeding the geese, bringing in border collies to scare them away or oiling the eggs to prevent them from hatching.

Scientists say the geese that caused the US Airways crash were migratory birds and not the birds that live at parks, so the whole idea of limiting geese numbers at the park should be irrelevant.

Even if you don’t live in New York City, you can also help discourage Mayor Bloomberg from resigning the contract that will kill thousands of geese by signing this petition.

The geese bring a lot of personality and happiness to the park. One of the state senators was quoted saying the birds are important to the park:

“We sat in this park, in a serene environment, and sat on those rocks. Some of us courted our first love in our life, merely by sitting here. We couldn’t afford a Broadway play. But we had the pleasure of seeing these birds swim.”

Today is the day of online action, so even if you don’t live in New York, you can still help make an impact by stopping this senseless slaughter of Canada geese by going here, which might also help discourage other cities from adopting similar policies.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.

7 Comments

  1. […] usually find a way to adapt and remain persistent in certain areas. As I reported a month ago, Canadian Geese in Prospect Park of Brooklyn were preemptively gassed because the mayor deemed them a risk to planes. This method is the least desirable. Even though […]

  2. […] Another thing they’re doing for Bird Week is exploring the interspecies relationship between birds and among in the Big Apple. A quick browse through the history shows it’s been pretty rocky. There have been some high profile cases of cockfighting in seedy buildings, a history of hunting birds and, more recently, the mayor ordered the gassing of thousands of Canadian Geese. […]

  3. […] been a vocal critic against the gassing of thousands of Canadian Geese at New York City’s Prospect Park, so news that the park was trying to find a new way to scare off the geese was […]

  4. […] are a menace to birds in many ways, including killing millions each year with cars, unintentional (and intentional) poisoning and raising the population of house […]

  5. […] a move reminiscent to what happened in New York City, officials removed hundreds of geese parks in the area of the Birmingham airport in Alabama to […]

  6. […] the amount of crashes or incidents related to birds getting sucked into plane engines, such as gassing geese in Prospect Park, banning bird feeding and arresting offenders around airports and calling the […]

  7. […] last year, officials at JFK airport were killing Snowy Owls who were on the runway and in 2011, Canada Geese were being rounded up from parks and […]

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