We've (hopefully) reached the end of what has been a long and rough winter. While springtime brings new life, before long it will be summer, when molting geese and their goslings are rounded up and slaughtered, in NYC and elsewhere across the country. Please read on about our work to protect these geese and other wildlife, and how you can join our efforts.
Our advocacy has been focused on a few simple ideas that we believe are best for our communities, our environment, and animals: tolerance and co-existence with wildlife, humane and effective management of conflicts, as well as transparency in government operations and public inclusion in the decision making process - after all, wildlife belong to the public trust and management costs fall on taxpayers.
We saw recently how powerful the public's voice can be - approximately 50,000 comments were submitted in opposition to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's proposal to exterminate Mute swans, and the agency has been forced to revise its plan.
However, we have still our work cut out for us. Geese, swans, turkeys, deer, beavers, wolves, literally millions of creatures are killed by USDA Wildlife Services each year. This is an issue that is gaining national attention.
For the past three summers, GooseWatch NYC has taken the task of patrolling parks across NYC to document goose roundups. This resulted in photos and video of the roundup of hundreds of geese at Jamaica Bay "Wildlife Refuge" last summer, featured on the N.Y. Times website:
As I was recently quoted by Reuters.com, "When people live close to each other, conflicts are inevitable, but we don't kill each other off. But when people live next to animals and conflicts are inevitable, we respond with lethal methods." Not only is killing inhumane, it is doesn't address the root of the issues.
Here are three terrific recent news articles relating to our efforts, you can see from the comments that these animals desperately need your support and appreciation:
- A Plan to Eliminate Wild Mute Swans Draws Vocal Opposition by Margot Adler, NPR (3/11/14) - "They're important in people's lives, Karopkin says, "not just because they are beautiful; it is because people value and respect life."
- Swans teach Life Lessons by Anne Fullam Goeke, TimesUnion.com (3/18/14) - "Pairing for life, mute swans seem a reminder that the natural order is to care for one another, be loyal, be true. And humans have responded to the birds in kind ... Maybe they are teaching us all a lesson in coexistence ... However, while the birds have won a temporary reprieve, their fate in New York is still unknown."
- No refuge in N.J. for Canada geese by Susan Russell, Philly.com (3/17/14) - "The resident Canada goose, ostensibly protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, finds refuge nowhere. Paid by public and private kill contracts, the USDA's Wildlife Services has a strong financial incentive to maximize supposed threats caused by wildlife ... The Sacramento Bee reports that Wildlife Services "officially revealed little or no detail about where the creatures were killed, or why. But a Bee investigation has found the agency's practices to be indiscriminate, at odds with science, inhumane, and sometimes illegal."
Thank you sooooo much Diane.
Here is the petitionMayor Bloomberg and Sen. Gillibrand: Stop Killing NYC's Canada Geese
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