The Prospect Park geese debate isn’t over yet. Councilmen Brad Lander and Steve Levin (D–Park Slope) are introducing new legislation to that would prevent another geese slaughter this summer. The proposed bill came in response to protests against last summer’s geese slaughter, which many believe was done secretly and without community consent. Under the legislation, the city would be required to consider public opinion before taking any “wildlife management” actions. Although the geese massacre was carried out due to aviation safety concerns in response to the US Airways Flight 1549 crash on the Hudson River, many within the community were shocked by the systematic nature of the execution, which occurred in the middle of the night.
“These decisions should be made in the light of day,” said Councilman Brad Lander, “Not the cloak of night.”
Wildlife advocates and park watchdogs agree, and believe the new transparency measure will prevent any future exterminations in Prospect Park. “It’s tremendously positive,” said park watchdog Ed Bahlman, in a report by The Brooklyn Paper. “It’s an important step.”
Under the proposed legislation, the city would be required to form a wildlife advisory board of 11 experts, which would include academics and animal rights advocates. Three would be appointed by the Mayor and three by Council Speaker Christine Quinn, with the remaining five members appointed by the Parks and Sanitation Departments. The bill also proposes a citywide wildlife management plan in order to promote biological diversity and the humane treatment of animals.
Prospect Park officials have already tried other ways of taking care of the geese problem, such as addling and scaring the geese away with dogs. The city however, doesn’t seem to want to give up current extermination methods, and has hired biologists from the USDA in an effort to catch and kill the geese. Meanwhile the debate continues on whether the Canadian Geese should be considered an invasive species to Prospect Park, or non-migratory due to the geese adopting to the park environment.
Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t seem like the issue will be resolved anytime soon.
Lead Image © Karen Nutini