Saturday, April 14, 2012

But, Now are None (The "War" on Canada Geese in Full Throttle)

(Photo:  Papa goose yesterday guarding Mama at Boat Lake.)
Although summer is not yet here, the "war on Canada geese" is in full throttle.
In the past week, there have been news accounts of 16 geese mysteriously slaughtered in one community (and their bodies left to rot),  various goose harassment news videos, propaganda allegations of "attacking geese," derision of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act as  presumably outdated and this NBC video today from Virginia:
(For other news articles and videos, please go to our FB page:  Call of the Canada Geese page.)
The latest installment in the "war" on geese describes how ALL the geese in Albemarle Country were rounded up by the USDA last year and slaughtered.
But, that wasn't enough.
This year, the USDA is back to addle (i.e. destroy) the eggs of the TWO surviving geese on the lake.    This, to the obvious dismay of community residents who rightly claim that the geese have all but vanished from the area. 
Then again, the feelings of  tax-paying, community residents don't matter when there is a war on wildlife to conduct.   Presumably, the hope and plan is to insure that no new geese are hatched to replace the ones slaughtered, shot or lost to attrition. And that any remaining and surviving geese will ultimately be shot during expanded hunting seasons.
That is management to eventual extinction.
The last statement may sound alarmist in light of the fact that many geese still presently exist.
But, according to scientists, migratory populations of Canada geese are already in decline due to habitat loss and hunting.  And so-called, "resident" geese are the targets of a seemingly never-ending war (around the world) that includes all types of outright destruction (i.e. gassing, slaughter, canned hunts, beating to death, expanded hunting), a wide array of harassment methods, habitat manipulation and finally (and perhaps most significant) egg destruction.
So what does that leave to survive and carry on the species a few years or decades down the line?
That might very well be the million dollar question.
It can be very difficult for humans to sometimes see the consequences of our actions when those actions are put into full motion with few checks and balances to measure, examine and if necessary, counteract them.
Some might argue that we have laws to protect animals from actual extinction at the hands of humans.
But, as pointed out in the last blog entry, the federal law passed in 1918 specifically to protect birds from being hunted or destroyed to extinction (The Migratory Bird Treaty Act) is frequently and recently being held up by the media as some kind of barrier getting in the way of "pest" geese and human desires to "get rid of them" ad infintum.
Some perhaps missed the significance of the news video posted the other day that referred to the Migratory Bird Treat Act as "Really old......but not going anywhere, any time soon."
The clear implication in that news clip was that the law is antiquated and out of date.
The Bill of Rights and the Constitution are "really old," too.
But, does anyone in their right mind question their importance and validity today?
Last year in New Zealand, the national law that afforded some protections for Canada geese as migratory birds was usurped and now anyone can kill geese any time, in any way, and for any reason.
We may think that the same thing could never happen in our country, but we should not place any bets on that.
Propaganda wars have a way of warping not only common sense, ethics and sound judgment, but sometimes actual laws.
Should the "Really old" media statement about the Migratory Bird Treaty Act set precedent and catch on to other media outlets, the geese could be in even deeper trouble than they are now.
Indeed, the only thing affording migratory (and some resident) Canada geese any protection at all presently is in fact, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  
Should that federal law be usurped or further weakened, then it will open doors for Canada geese eventually going the way of the Passenger Pigeon -- of which there used to be hundreds of millions, but now are none.  -- PCA

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