heard twice telling David Karopkin of GooseWatch NYC - who was shooting video and photos (above) of USDA personel loading captured geese and goslings into the back of a pick-up truck - that the park is closed. Another USDA employee tells him that the area is closed. According to a press release sent out today by GooseWatch NYC, Mr. Karopkin was threatened with arrest "more than once." This morning during the annual round up of resident geese that don't fly into planes a USDA employee was
The annual roundup and slaughter of the region’s Canada geese in the name of human air safety is under way, according to the New York Times.
In the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and the surrounding area Tuesday morning, agents from the federal Department of Agriculture captured geese and loaded them onto trucks, the National Park Service said. (This time of year, geese are molting and cannot fly.)
No numbers were available, but based on a census conducted recently by the Agriculture Department, the target was 500 geese, said Daphne Yun, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service.
Video taken near the West Pond trail area in the wildlife refuge by David Karopkin of GooseWatch NYC and released by Friends of Animals shows workers carrying heavy-looking crates loaded with birds and putting them in the back of a pickup truck.
Hundreds of geese have been removed each summer from parks within a few miles of the area’s major airports and slaughtered — much to the dismay of animal-rights advocates — since 2009, after a US Airways jet was brought down in the Hudson River by a bird strike. The government is trying to nearly halve the Canada goose population in 17 Atlantic states, to 650,000 from 1.1 million.
“The adult geese and babies were squawking loudly in distress” as they were stuffed into the crates, Edita Birnkrant, New York director of Friends of Animals, wrote in an e-mail. “That this is happening in NYC’s only wildlife refuge is stunning.”
In addition to the roundup at Jamaica Bar, which is controlled by the National Park Service, there have been 322 geese captured at city parks so far this year, city environmental officials said.
The number of geese rounded up has been declining, an indicator, officials said, that the population control plan, which also includes tactics to discourage geese from breeding, is a success.
New York Times - July 2, 2013 - By Andy Newman