Horrid Scheme to Hammer Geese
BACKGROUND | SOURCE: FRIENDS OF ANIMALS
New York—The town of Scarsdale, NY, announced it’s hiring USDA agents next summer to extinguish the few Canada geese who reside at the pond near Scarsdale’s library, and Friends of Animals, an animal advocacy group founded in 1957, is intervening to defend the native geese.
Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals says, “Canada geese, a bird native to North America, should live free of harassment and harm in Scarsdale, and throughout its range.”
Village Manager Alfred A. Gatta’s complaints about goose droppings are illogical, Friends of Animals says, as Gatta could easily implement a proven plan to remove fecal matter if it’s accumulating in public areas. Human litter is picked up, the group says, and residents pick up after their dogs. “What’s needed is an attitude adjustment,” Birnkrant asserts. “Not a bloody round up and shooting project.”
Machines that quickly clean up goose droppings on grass are available for parks and beaches, and are an easy, long-term solution for city officials to utilize, Birnkrant advises. “Geese pose no health threats—officials must make it a policy to clean up waste matter, which hasn’t been done. Posting signs and enforcing no-feeding and littering rules are also sensible steps.
Goose roundups are monstrous, Friends of Animals reports. 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. Does Gatta imagine such immorality is preferable to cleaning the grass, Friends of Animals asks?
Removing the geese from the pond area will create a vacuum that will be filled as more geese are drawn back to the landscape, unless changes are made. Is Gatta prepared to spend tax funds each year to kill wildlife instead of implementing the effective, sound 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.
Friends of Animals produces a Canada Goose Habitat Modification Manual detailing this process, and a copy is on the way to Village Manager Gatta.
Harassing, chasing and terrorizing geese from the pond area won’t work. “Habitat and landscape modification are the only environmentally sound and long-term ways to deter geese from areas where they are seen as problematic, and that’s clearly what’s needed in Scarsdale. Co-existence with geese and other wildlife is required as a part of civilized suburban living,” Birnkrant says.
WHOM TO CONTACT
Village Manager Alfred A. Gatta
Dear Village Manager Gatta,
I am extremely alarmed to learn of Scarsdale’s decision to hire USDA agents next summer to extinguish the few Canada geese who reside at the pond near Scarsdale’s library. 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.
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 cruel strategies in such a visible location will most certainly affect visitation. In fact, although I do not currently reside in Scarsdale, 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 pond lives near a library,
a fountain of books and
wisdom and words
for everyone from
grammar school to college.
but where is the wisdom
in killing the pond’s geese.
in the name of compassion
let this goose round notion
Karen Lyons Kalmenson