State and feds take drastic measures to reduce geese numbers

A recent news piece reported in the NY Times claimed that the DEC or others (assumedly the US Fish & Wildlife Service) planned to capture, euthanize and bury 170,000 resident geese to achieve the statewide population goal of 85,000 birds. Since an overpopulation of resident, non-migrating geese has been an ongoing problem throughout the state, that story took on a life of its own, despite not be entirely correct.



In spring 2009, following the US Airways Flight 1549 incident, DEC cooperated with federal and local officials to develop an action plan to reduce the number of resident Canada geese that posed a hazard to aviation safety in the New York metropolitan area. U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife Services program accepted lead responsibility for developing and implementing a specific work plan to reduce the number of geese around JFK and LaGuardia airports. That work plan was designed to be more aggressive, and more effective, than the variety of non-lethal measures that had been used at both airports for many years.

It is the USDA work plan, not the flyway management plan, which describes the goose removal program that occurred in New York City in 2009 and 2010. The USDA work plan cited the Atlantic Flyway plan, and the population goal for New York, as part of their determination that the actions called for were consistent with current management goals and policies of DEC and other wildlife agencies. To reiterate, there are absolutely no plans by DEC or others to capture, euthanize and bury 170,000 resident geese to achieve the statewide population goal of 85,000.


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