The killing of somewhere between 250 and 400 geese at Prospect Park under the false pretense that they were impacting air “safety” led to vocalized outrage from park-goers and the nearby community. The geese were reportedly killed by gassing on park premises. The furor over this was directed towards the Prospect Park Alliance which recently announced it had formed a “Wildlife Management Advisory Committee.” This committee will be holding a public meeting Wednesday, November 17th to outline their plan and it is open for public comment.
It is important to note that it has never been stated previously that the geese in any way needed to be managed. It appears “managing the geese” was in the back of park management’s minds at the time of their gassing because it is now well known that Prospect Park is actually outside of the stated 7 mile designated range around NYC airports where geese were removed and killed (up to 1600 this year – 1200 last year – again, allegedly for “airline safety”).
The Prospect Park Alliance, the private entity in charge of the park, is now saying outright that the geese need to be “managed.” What that usually means is habitat modification (okay, I don’t have a problem to some degree with that), egg oiling (to prevent the eggs from hatching) and sometimes dogs to scare the geese away … yes, it’s better than killing, but is it (a) necessary and (b) the right thing to do?
This brings up other questions:
Is there some reason we can’t live with/share this 585 acre park with other species, even if there are some who consider them large in number?
Can we as a species learn to live with other species?
Who decides what is “too many”?
With Canada Geese being shoved out of the suburbs and outlying areas, where should they live, if not in a large public park where they are enjoyed by many?
Let’s protect our wildlife!
Note: There are now over 100 new geese at Prospect Park. Killing does not do anything – new geese fill the void. Geese are not, it must be noted, the main ‘culprit’ colliding with planes. Should we extinguish every bird in the sky? Clearly – although some would advocate for that – that is not possible. The onus is on the airline industry which is, at present, being protected by the USDA – the agency in charge of the mass killings – although NYC government gave them the go ahead.
Speak out at a public meeting to discuss next steps:
Wednesday, November 17th
6 p.m. at the Prospect Park Picnic House, enter at 3rd Street and Prospect Park West (inside the park) Brooklyn
phone # 718-965-8953
closest train: F/G to
9th Street 7th Avenue (exit at 8th avenue) or 2, 3 to Grand
* Previously on WSP Blog: