Mamaroneck, NY, Set to Slaughter Canada Geese in Parks
BACKGROUND | SOURCE FRIENDS OF ANIMALS
The town of Mamaroneck, NY located in Westchester County on Long Island Sound, announced it’s hiring USDA agents this summer to annihilate Canada geese who reside in Harbor Island Park, the town’s largest park, and other areas. USDA’s “Wildlife Services” will also destroy eggs in nests, in addition to rounding-up and killing adult geese and goslings starting in June 2013.
Mayor Norm Rosenblum, who ordered the killing, claims goose droppings are too numerous — charging ahead with an intolerant, misguided assault — even though Mamaroneck purchased a $30,000 “Toro Rake-O-Vac” machine to effectively remove goose droppings from grassy areas and parks. Go figure.
The Mayor needs a different mindset, and plan to use the machine recently purchased with tax dollars to clean up goose droppings in parks. Officials must make it a policy to clean up waste matter instead of saying all geese within town limits must die. Posting signs and enforcing no-feeding and littering rules are also sensible steps.
Mayor Rosenblum told News 12 Westchester that Mamaroneck paid for dogs to chase the geese away but “it didn’t work.” Friends of Animals could have predicted that. Harassing geese from areas won’t work because if flat, grassy areas remain unchanged. Geese will move in when others leave, occupying those areas for nesting, especially in the summer.
Habitat and landscape modifications are environmentally sound, long-term ways to deter geese from areas where they are seen as problematic — clearly what’s needed in Mamaroneck. Co-existence with geese and other wildlife neighbors is required as a part of evolved suburban living. Is Mayor Rosenblem prepared to spend the residents’ taxes each year to kill geese instead of implementing the effective strategies Friends of Animals endorses?
Geese are attracted to areas with short, mowed grass with open sight lines as safe nesting areas. Growing grass longer in areas, planting native shrubs and trees to block sight lines (geese like to watch for predators), will deter geese from ponds, shores and parkland — reducing the time they spend in any one spot — especially for the 6 week period in summer when they’re moulting.
Friends of Animals produces a Canada Goose Habitat Modification Manual detailing this process, and hopes to meet with Mayor Rosenblum to present him with the manual. We’ll urge him to implement the changes and spare the geese.
WHOM TO CONTACT
Village of Mamaroneck -Mayor Norman S. Rosenblum
Dear Mayor Rosenblum,
I am extremely alarmed to learn of Mamaroneck’s decision to hire USDA agents next summer to cruelly annihilate Canada geese who reside in Harbor Island Park, the town’s largest park, and other areas. I respectfully request suspension of this violent strategy.
Please allow me to elaborate. First, killing geese does nothing to modify landscapes and waterways that attract them in the first place. I encourage officials to work with avian experts on population stabilization and site aversion.
GeesePeace, for example, shows how to recruit and train community volunteers to find nests, addle/oil eggs, use repellents, etc,. Integrated strategies resolve conflicts with geese and are more enduring than violent sacrifice.
Furthermore, you claim goose droppings are too numerous, even though Mamaroneck purchased a $30,000 “Toro Rake-O-Vac” machine to effectively remove goose droppings from grassy areas and parks. Are you also prepared to spend the residents’ taxes each year to kill geese instead of implementing effective strategies?
Second, sweeping eradication does not reduce long-term growth. Killing geese artificially increases food supplies to the remaining geese, the consequence of which is increased reproduction and an ensuing greater population. In fact, studies have demonstrated that the continual cycle of seasonal eradication is responsible for a rebound, or larger gaggle populations, in subsequent years.
Third, using such barbaric strategies in such a visible location will most certainly affect visitation: USDA agents typically enter the pond area during early morning, roughly separating goslings from parents, and then stuff the bound, panicked geese and babies into crates. Next, the geese are gassed or shot to death. In fact, although I do not currently reside in Mamaroneck, I would be unwilling to consider it, or a nearby location, for tourist purposes if this cull ensues.
Please practice compassion and integrity: let the geese live and institute responsible policies that promote respect and tolerance of wildlife.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this urgent appeal.
a sad commentary on the state of man,
that he throws all other species into
a garbage can.
that he resorts to killing those
he perceives to be
in his way or a pest,
but by doing so he
is also destroying
his very own nest!
Karen Lyons Kalmenson