The geese saga continues as the New York City Department of Environmental Protection announced last week an expected round up of 700 to 800 Canada geese from parks in and around the city. The City, however, refuses to comment on when or where the roundup will take place, but there is some good news to be had — the geese living in Prospect Park will not be culled.
“One of the USDA’s priorities is to reduce the stress on the animals and make the operation as stress-free as possible,” said Farrell Sklerov, spokesman for the DEP, in a report by the New York Times. “And so the locations are not given out in advance.”
What started as an animal rights dispute in Prospect Park due to concern over midnight geese massacres is now expanding to other parts of the city; activists are even protesting in front of Mayor Bloomberg’s home. Earlier demands to stop the Prospect Park geese slaughter were met, but ironically, while the Prospect Park geese are safe, other geese won’t be.
Demands by local residents have caused City Council members to propose legislation that requires that public opinion be taken into consideration for any future “wildlife management” initiatives. Activists, however, continue to protect the geese, even going so far as to set up nighttime vigils in order to interrupt attempts at “secret” geese exterminations.
The DEP released the names of several parks where 2010 “geese mitigation measures” were so effective that there was no need for another extermination this year. These include Prospect Park, Douglaston Park Golf Course in Queens, East River State Park in Manhattan, and Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx.
Activists of the Prospect Park geese watch have “amassed a list of nearly 100 supporters who are on call to receive a mass text message and phone call at any hour of the night if the U.S.D.A. is spotted by stakeout patrollers and who are able to come to the park immediately to defend the geese,” according to Friends of Animals. The group expects to protest near Flushing Meadows Park in Queens due to the rise in geese population.
The center of the debate is on whether or not the geese population needs to be controlled through killing methods. Some believe that due to the fact that Canadian Geese are an invasive species, they are adversely affecting the local habitat, and killing them is required. Others believe that because the Canadian Geese have adapted to their environment, they should now be considered an indigenous species, and other methods such as addling should be considered.
Whatever the case may be, activists will continue to protest for more humane ways of geese control. They can at least take comfort in the fact that the geese are being for environmental concerns and to feed the needy, rather than for malicious purposes.
Via New York Times