Wednesday, July 1, 2015

While Violent Crime Skyrockets, New York City Kills Geese


Murders, shootings and robberies all up in New York City, but it's important to "remove" geese.
Fast moving towards a time there will no longer be geese on NYC park lakes and ponds.
 
To be charitable, call it, "Fiddling while Rome burns."
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But in New York City, while shootings, murders and robberies have dramatically escalated, we have apparently decided that the real "problem" is Canada geese swimming on park lakes and ponds.
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As earlier reported, 24 geese were captured from Inwood Park last week by USDA Wildlife Services and sent to slaughter. There are unconfirmed reports of other roundups since then, but so far, no video or media. As noted, goose slaughters in NYC are clandestine and generally not given to exposure, media or otherwise.
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However, violent crimes occurring in our city are usually reported.
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Perhaps among the most disturbing of these vicious crimes occurred this past Sunday (June 28) at Crocheron Park in Queens. A young woman walking her Cocker Spaniel was approached by two young men, suckered punched in the stomach and her dog stolen. 
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Ginger, the beloved family pet was found dead the next day.
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This was a crime not perpetrated for money or any other reason save blatant cruelty and wish to destroy. The perpetrators are still on the loose and quite frankly, even if caught will simply move quickly in and out of our revolving door of justice. Violence against animals is not taken seriously in the criminal justice system even when involving a beloved family pet. One can presume the criminals' mothers didn't love them enough or they didn't have access to after school programs. Or, perhaps they ate too many Twinkies.
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It will be interesting to later note if Crocheron Park was on USDA WS's "hit list" of NYC parks for goose roundups this year.
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More likely, there were few if any geese at all to round up there.
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Such appears to be the case at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge this year (unless WS already did a roundup there). The latest observer report cites only 12 geese at the so-called, "wildlife refuge."
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This, after more than 1200 geese were captured and slaughtered from JBWR over the past two years.
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Another observer reports only 7 geese this year at Van Courtlandt park in the Bronx (another favorite target of WS in the past). Did WS since round up the seven geese? We probably won't know until their "Goose Removal Report" is published later in the year.
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While 40 geese at Central Park may sound like a huge number (compared to other parks) one has to consider we are talking of a 843 acre park. The number is actually a tiny percentage of what is was five or six years ago.
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But, perhaps the truly disturbing part of all this, are the comparatively few media reports nationwide of "nuisance geese" or even other WS goose roundups this year.  I say "disturbing" not because such reports are pleasant to read, but rather because of what they likely signify. One cannot assume that people have suddenly grown more tolerant and accepting of geese, but rather that goose numbers are likely down across the country in most places.
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Presently, there is rumor that WS is only conducting NYC goose roundups this year through the month of June which ended yesterday. (That has not been confirmed.)
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If true, it should not be assumed that NYC has suddenly developed a more tolerant or "progressive" policy towards geese. But rather that there weren't enough geese to require USDA WS staying and conducting roundups for nearly an entire month. Apparently, all the geese that could be gotten could be hauled off in less than two weeks.
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The question is, what does that leave us in terms of waterbirds in our parks?
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As soon as growing in their new flight feathers (in about two to three weeks) most of the 40 geese currently in Central Park will be gone.
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We will then likely be left with our pitiful 12 resident geese (and hopefully, four surviving goslings) -- who will then be harassed on a daily basis with the exception of the Reservoir which doesn't provide easy access for harassment. While the Central Park Conservancy engages in pointless hazing of wildfowl (including in period when the only geese there are migratory and by their own reckoning, "off limits"), it at least has the common sense to recognize as "inhumane" and reject mass, secret, roundups and kills by a discredited Federal agency.
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But, one can be sure there will still be plenty of crime for media to report.
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We just won't be able to scapegoat the nearly non-existent geese for them. -- PCA


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