Friday, May 20, 2011

24/7 Goose Watch Established in Prospect Park

Volunteers and kids are organizing a full-time patrol inside Prospect Park to protect Canada geese from being slaughtered again, including the cute new baby goslings. (Photo by Tom Callan )


Meet the goose patrol.

A group of watchdogs has launched “a 24/7 goose watch” in Prospect Park to prevent federal officials from once again slaughtering their feathered friends, according to the Brooklyn Paper.

The group — which consists of about 40 wildlife advocates, business leaders and residents — says it will plant night-vision cameras and set up “stakeouts” in the park until the killing season ends in July.

At least a dozen “core members” — ranging from 17 to 70 years old — met at an undisclosed Park Slope business for the first time late on Monday night, hoping to send the feds a message: We’ve got an eye on you.

One of six goslings that were born this month in Prospect Park, the first Canada Geese born in the park since federal authorities slaughtered 300 last year. (Photo by Peter Colen)

“If they come back [for the geese], it should be documented,” said Edita Birnkrant, an organizer and a director for the wildlife advocacy group Friends of Animals. “It’s an outrage; and people should see it.”

Appropriately titled “Goose Watch,” the group’s meetings are the first organized effort by citizens to monitor the behavior of theagency that secretly exterminated hundreds of geese in the park last July.

Plans for the military-style operation come after six geese hatched in the park last week — the first since last year’s massacre, and a triumph of nature against the efforts of biologists who tried to prevent their births in a humane attempt to keep the goose population from attracting federal attention.

“It’s heart-wrenching to think they might target those goslings,” said David Karopkin, a 26-year-old paralegal by day and goose-saver by night, who organized the group. “We’re committed to protecting them — and all of the wildlife in the park.”

A network of volunteers, many of whom are also 20-somethings, will be assigned rotating days of the month and will pair-off to monitor the park, even at night.

If volunteers spot suspicious behavior — including federal vehicles — they intend to alert Goose Watch leaders, who are prepared to storm the park in protest. (And text a certain Brooklyn Paper reporter, who lives nearby.)

Binoculars will be used, cameras will be carried; video footage will be taken from secret outdoor locations along the park’s perimeter, channeling the dolphin slaughter expose, “The Cove.”

Goose Watchers were mum about some details of the still-in-the-works undertaking, but noted it would be conducted legally.

Other members hope to pressure the city to end its goose extermination contract with the feds, which expires on June 30.

“The mayor has declared a war on wildlife,” Birnkrant said. “We intend to reverse that.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture did not return calls before our squawking deadline.

Read More:

The Brooklyn Paper - May 19, 2011 - By Natalie O’Neill

The Brooklyn Paper - May 11, 2011 - By Gersh Kuntzman

A Walk In The Park - November 19, 2010

A Walk In The Park - October 5, 2010

A Walk In The Park - September 23, 2010

A Walk In The Park - August 10, 2010 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - July 23, 2010

A Walk In The Park - July 13, 2010

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