Hands Around the Lake
Saturday, March 26th, 12:30pm, Prospect Park Lake, Brooklyn NY
— Enter at Vanderbilt Street & Prospect Park SW
Call Off the Slaughter & Harassment of Canada Geese
Join Friends of Animals, New York State Senator Eric Adams, Council Member Letitia James, and concerned New Yorkers as we join hands around Prospect Park Lake, standing together in our demand for protection for Canada geese and the animal life of New York City. A press conference will precede the rally around the lake. Edita Birnkrant, NY Director for Friends of Animals, will be one of the speakers.
“We are New Yorkers who appreciate and celebrate Canada geese and demand an end to the policies that kill, harass, or chase away animals from our parks,” said Birnkrant.
Friends of Animals has held high-profile protests against the tormenting of geese for the past few years. The group rallied at the Bloomberg Mansion after USDA agents’ pre-dawn gassing of 368 Canada geese and goslings in Prospect Park. The incident shocked the Brooklyn community and emptied the park of the geese beloved by many.
The group presented Mayor Bloomberg’s staff with its 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.
All told, Mayor Bloomberg oversaw the gassing of 1,676 geese in city parks throughout the five boroughs last summer. A USDA report revealed that 89% of geese observed at sites throughout New York City and western Nassau have been killed. Geese, of course, rebound. In October 2010 more than 150 geese were back in Prospect Park.
Mayor Bloomberg tries to justify more attacks on geese, claiming they threaten air travel safety. (Smithsonian scientists proved migratory geese were involved in the Hudson River plane crash of 2009—no relation to the targeted resident geese of New York City and western Nassau County parks.) What’s the real issue? Goose droppings are a central matter of concern in the USDA’s report.
New York City recently spent $27.5 million to restore wetlands. Yet the city spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to target geese. Said Birnkrant, “That answer is simple: Clean up after geese where the droppings are a bother, and let geese be.” The current slaughter contract with the USDA runs through 30 June 2011—meaning geese and goslings once again must see agents attack them during their molting phase, when they are flightless and helpless to escape.
Desperate to help, some advocates are supporting invasive and traumatic population-control methods such as addling (destroying eggs by shaking, piercing or coating the eggs with oil); and the use of hazing dogs to chase geese from their nests. The end result would still be parks emptied of geese, observes Friends of Animals’ Edita Birnkrant, who states, “Friends of Animals will always oppose these control methods just as we oppose killing.”
“When humans attempt to destroy or addle the eggs and disturb nests, geese do everything in their power to defend their eggs and goslings,” said Birnkrant. “Not only the mothers defend and protect eggs and babies; geese parents care for babies together for prolonged periods. These displays of emotional intelligence complement the wisdom that enables them to adapt and flourish despite the best efforts of humans to terrorize and slaughter them at every turn.”
Join us around the lake for a lively and spirited rally and press conference as we celebrate and urge protection for these wonderful North American birds to Mayor Bloomberg, the media and the rest of the world.
Tell Mayor Bloomberg and city officials: Stop the killing and harassment of Canada Geese.
What You Can Do
Contact Mayor Bloomberg to oppose the slaughter and harassment 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.
Contact Edita Birnkrant if you have further questions by Email or 212.247.8120
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