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Activists Take the Protest Against Canada Goose Slaughter to "Bloomberg Mansion"; Demand Protection for Urban Wildlife

August 05, 2010 | Geese

For Immediate Release
Contact: Edita Birnkrant, NY Director, Friends of Animals, 917.940.2725, Email
When: Monday 9 Aug. 6-8pm
Where: Chez Mayor Bloomberg: 17 East 79th Street, between Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue

New York City-City officials have devised a slaughter contract with the USDA's Wildlife Service Division to target thousands of Canada geese inhabiting New York City parks and waterways. Friends of Animals and bird-respecting New Yorkers put the responsibility at Mayor Bloomberg's door, where they will demand the plan itself be killed.

Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals, said, "New Yorkers resist the claim on our tax dollars for a wildlife massacre. New York should not put a quota on geese."

The 400 geese and goslings of the Prospect Park were annihilated in July, when the USDA's Wildlife Service division, funded by New York City and the Port Authority, trapped, netted, crated and gassed the geese during their molting (flightless) period. "It's geese or human beings," was the bizarre explanation from Mayor Bloomberg.

Priscilla Feral, President of Friends of Animals, called this part of an overall pattern that must stop.

"Birds nest, and birds move on. Are guns to be pointed skyward when Tundra swans return to Pennsylvania in November, or when Mute swans fly along the Atlantic Coast?" Feral asked. "Stop this killing, and let birds be birds."

The USDA plan to kill 170,000 geese throughout New York State was revealed recently in a report prepared by several city, state and federal agencies. The quota for New York City should be 4,000, the official report states.

Officials point to the US Airways plane that landed in the Hudson in January 2009, after two migratory Canada geese flew into its engine. But the airport situation demands habitat modification policies (in addition to radar technology to spot the birds and the use of noise equipment to warn them off) -- not clearing planet's atmosphere of every feathered being.

Last summer, when at least 2,000 geese were gassed in areas surrounding the airports, Friends of Animals objected. The group publishes the Canada Goose Habitat Modification Manual, written by ornithologist Donald S. Heintzelman, containing practical examples of long-term landscaping policies to deter geese from urban and suburban settings where they are perceived as problematic. The guide was presented to Mayor Bloomberg's staff and other city agencies.

Short of making the birds completely extinct, killing would only mean birds repopulate -- leading to an endless cycle of urban violence. Mayor Bloomberg refused to listen last year, and the slaughter continues this year.

Christina Kobland, president of Native Return, LLC and a consultant for the Philadelphia Division of Aviation, said, "Native Return's approach to managing wildlife for airports is to plant habitat that species like geese or deer do not like, so they chose to locate elsewhere. I favor our proactive, compassionate methods, which also happen to be environmentally beneficial, much less costly and educational to the public."

As for parks, geese flock to them because manicured landscapes provide clear sight lines, and ponds are naturally attractive. Tall, native grasses, meadowlands, wildflowers, shrubs and trees can -- if necessary -- deter geese from parks, commercial tracts, airports and waterfronts, and can increase biodiversity, which benefits all species, including humans.

The staff and supporters of Friends of Animals strongly oppose all policies advocating birth control of geese or addling of goose eggs -- destroying eggs by shaking, piercing or coating the eggs with oil, often scaring them away from their nests by using hazing dogs -- considering these approaches traumatic and invasive.

"Geese and other urban wildlife don't need to be managed," said Birnkrant. "The impulse to obliterate every species that crosses our path surely does, and decision-makers approving such wrong-headed polices must be held accountable, starting with Mayor Bloomberg."

What You Can Do

Contact Mayor Bloomberg and make clear your opposition to the slaughter of geese in New York City.

· If you live in New York City, you can call the Mayor's office at 311.
· Outside of New York City, call 212-NEW-YORK.
· Fax a message: 212-788-8123.
· Send an email to the Mayor.


What is wrong with this country?? People should be ashamed of what is going on. Anytime it is an inconvenience for people they assume its "ok" to "get rid" of the "problem" :(

Its a lynch-mob mentality brought on by ignorance and someone's preferences. I've been around for many years and there have been geese always. For some reason they are the new scapegoat. It makes me sick. I was at Greenwood cemetery last weekend to visit a friend's grave and I was appalled to learn that they also got rid of all the geese... and are poisoning all the raccoons as well. The ponds were extremely desolate and depressing. Lots of frogs though, lots and lots of frogs..

I am a film maker doing a film about the geese to stop the geese slaughter. Where is Peta and the Humane Society!!! It was a friend who sent me the article, otherwise I wouldn't have known. As far as what they are doing is concerned, think about this: aren't there are more people injured and killed by pet dogs every year (like pit bulls) and more people by running into deer then those killed in plane crashes involving geese? Also from what I heard from my connection in one of the federal agencies they plan on killing any bird over four pounds. This danger card is what Bloomberg does in everything including the mass evictions of people from rented places (that we are doing our other film on) and the eviction of artists from Parks (see Robert Lederman news) Its the danger card so we ask them for protection of some kind and continue to lose our freedom and way of life.

Tyler, best wishes with the filming. You're right to connect this attitude about the birds to a parallel attitude about renters and artists..the whole fixation on social sanitation and control is deeply offensive and far more dangerous than any so-called problem the government perceives. As for the HSUS and PeTA, they have been involved at various times, but the concern we have about the humane groups is that they often simply want to advocate for an alternative form of control, still agreeing that the geese ought to be made to disappear; examples they have pushed are chemical birth control and hazing birds with border collies. It's mainly HSUS promoting these sorts of control, but one can see this supported by nearly all other humane groups as well. "Non-lethal solutions" is management speak for getting inconvenient animals out of the way. But why? As Priscilla Feral said, let birds be birds.

We have too many politicians. Perhaps Bloomburg could use the same policies he advocates for controlling the geese population to eliminate some of the politicians.

In addition to writing Mayor Bloomberg, it is important to e-mail Governor Patterson and the USDA to stop the slaughter of Canada Geese in NYC and NY state.

i cant say my feelings any better than the alert said it. i am so tired of seeing animals killed when they 'get in our way'. we are the ones that are getting in their way. i'm so heartbroken over seeing this day in and day out. in my area, it is the deer that are killed off. and laws made to not help them. there seems to be no other 'american way' then to get rid of whatever bugs you, fast and quick with no contemplation. we collectively will get what we deserve in the end...... the compassion we collectively show to any being is what will be shown to us. that right there should scare a lot of so called human beings. but it never does

It breaks my heart to think ANYONE with a heart can kill these Canada geese. I am so annoyed that killing or abusing animals is actually accepted by some people. I know I am spreading the word on this issue as I am other issues. There are so many animals that need our help.

Hopefully, Mayor Bloomber's site will be deluged by outraged citizens regarding the senseless slaughter of geese. I've written and will do so again.

It seems that everyone is trying to get rid of wildlife. We've already taken all their land. What are we trying to protect; the concrete we have slathered all over the countryside?


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