Friday, June 5, 2015

The Future of Central Park Geese Entirely Dependent on Tiny Wings of Four Goslings



So tiny and such large burdens to carry.....
The proud parents, Greta, Hansel and babies.
"Please accept and stop harassing us!"

The entire weight of the future of Central Park resident geese now rests on the tiny wings of the four goslings miraculously hatched at the Reservoir last week.
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That may sound dramatic, but it is not exaggerative.
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This morning, the eggs and nest of the only remaining nesting goose were destroyed at the Boat Lake in Central Park, (bringing up to four, the number of known Central Park goose nests destroyed this spring).
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At the time this was discovered, an employee from Geese Police was observed harassing (by boat and with a dog), the four geese currently at the Boat Lake -- including at least one gander known to be already molting and incapable of flight.
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It is not known if staffers from Geese Police destroyed the nest and eggs of the one nesting goose who was actually on her second or even third nesting attempt. Since "Lady" was nesting in a highly visible location with fairly easy access, technically anyone could have destroyed the nest and eggs. But the likely culprits are either park maintenance workers or Geese Police. In the past, Geese Police had been observed oiling (i.e. rendering unviable) goose eggs and has admitted to doing so.
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What matters now and what is most significant is that the population of resident Central Park geese is down to 12 (not including the four new hatchlings at the Reservoir, migratory geese in winter or any new geese who temporarily arrive to Central Park for purposes of molting over the next five to six weeks).
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Twelve geese is not a sustainable number for an 843 acre park.
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Of the twelve resident Central Park geese, more than half are mature and one is crippled. And though so far, the week-old goslings are surviving, they can be subjected to predation, lost to brutal weather conditions or (like last year, fail to grow and thrive) be lost to genetic, chemical or medical condition.
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In other words, should the twelve geese and four hatchlings eventually be lost to attrition, there is nothing to replace them. Our resident goose population in Central Park is well on its way to complete elimination and eradication within a few years.
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Spokespersons for Central Park Conservancy and Geese Police deny that the goal is complete eradication of resident Central Park geese (and with it, depletion of mallard and other waterbird populations) -- although one spokesperson referred to geese as an "invasive species."  This claim is patently untrue as Canada geese are native to North America, of which New York City is part.
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Through the years, the Conservancy and Geese Police claim to only want to "move" geese to other locations.  Several years ago, I was told that resident CP geese were being harassed to "make room for migratory geese."  That too, has been proved a lie because migratory geese in winter are harassed as regularly and fiercely as are resident geese.
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But, despite the claims of not seeking complete elimination of resident geese, the facts are what the facts are.
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When one observes as few as two geese being harassed on a large lake or every known goose egg destroyed,  that speaks to zero tolerance of any geese, rather than policy to simply "move along or manage" geese.
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I now look at the four tiny goslings at the Reservoir each night with their dutiful and devoted parents and worry for them.
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I worry that they will being preyed upon. I worry that due to pesticide and other chemical sprayings and doings in Central Park, they won't develop normally and will perish. I worry of them having to now carry the burden for the future of all Central Park resident geese on their tiny wings. (Unfortunately on the question of normal development, I have no other goslings in Central Park to compare these four to.)
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Such is too heavy a burden for any animal, let alone those few representing a species subjected to constant harassment and human contempt in Central Park. 
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As for Geese Police, one wonders if they ever consider what will become of their jobs once every last resident goose has been vanquished from Central Park and/or captured and slaughtered by USDA "Wildlife Services?"
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One doesn't need harassment and "management" of animals who no longer exist. -- PCA
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7 comments:

Mary Castrovilla said...

Oh, Patty this is so poignant. I, too, worry about the goslings and ducklings here. (Last year, five ducklings were within 2 blocks from where there was a hawks's nest.) Just breaks my heart...
As far as the geese Police/Parks -well, all I can say is that karma is a bitch...and someday, somehow, they all will have to answer for what they have done.

PCA said...

Thank you, Mary for your always insightful comment. It's interesting that we now have to worry about the few animals natural predators might take out because of the destructive human actions "removing" or harassing nearly all the waterbirds from our parks. Put simply, we cannot afford to lose even one more duck or goose. Sad that our grandchildren will never know the joy of watching a family of geese or ducks on a pond or tossing out a few crumbs.

Nicole said...

Patty thank you for giving an update on the eggs and the goslings. Horrible about the eggs being destroyed.
I am very worried about the goslings as well. The reservoir should have much more waterfowl, its so empty.

Nicole said...

Do you know why the water sprout is shut off at the reservoir? im worried about this coming winter. and the wooden plank there? I noticed some geese and ducks resting on it.

PCA said...

Hi Nicole,

I believe the docking station was set up to allow them to clean up some of the debris at the Reservoir by boat. Not sure why the sprout is off, but water levels are high now at Reservoir. As far as the low numbers of ducks and geese, that is true at all the ponds and lakes at Central Park. The Conservancy doesn't want geese at all and I personally believe that the daily goose harassment activities have resulted in also intimidating and scaring out nearly all of the mallards and other waterfowl.

Nicole said...

Thanks Patty for the information.

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