I was told, "We are harassing the resident geese to make room for the migratory geese."
(This explanation made little sense as most of the migratory geese either briefly rested at the Jackie Onassis Reservoir or wintered at Reservoir from December through March. Geese at Harlem Meer had nothing to do with them.)
At least the Conservancy acknowledged the harassment. To its credit also, the Conservancy appeared to realize the importance of protecting migratory bird species as mandated by the federal Migratory Bird Act Treaty.
These days, when questioned about harassment, Conservancy employees repeatedly deny that any harassment is being conducted. Either the Conservancy is engaging in activities that it fails to inform employees of, or the employees are told to lie to the public. Neither speaks well of an organization seeking support and trust of the public.
I have recently been informed by a Central Park vendor that a new goose harassment company, "Geese Chasers," has been using dogs for months to harass water birds from Central Park lakes and ponds at night. (See photo of vehicle.) Another eyewitness reported seeing Geese Chasers use DRONES to "attack" geese on the water early one morning.
It must be noted that it is nearly impossible to harass one species of bird without terrifying and chasing out others. I personally witnessed "Geese Relief" hurling a heavy object attached to a rope on ice one night at Harlem Meer many years ago to scare away geese. EVERY bird that was on the ice and in water panicked and took off vertically for the skies. These included Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Coots, Swans and some smaller ducks.
There was not one bird left on the lake and many of these had been migratory, as it was December.
The following day I complained to the Conservancy and Geese Relief was immediately fired as they did not have permission to use anything but dogs for harassment.
The following spring Geese Police was hired and utilized up until the last year or two.
I don't know what happened with Geese Police, but the new company seems to be using methods (drones?) that are terrorizing far more than geese from Central Park. Even birds who had been at CP for years are now gone.
Since there are few resident geese (or ducks) left on CP lakes and ponds to harass, the question becomes, "What is the purpose of goose harassment this time of year?"
To harass MIGRATORY birds? -- The very birds the Conservancy claimed ten years ago to be trying to "make room for"?
On this note, it is vital to find out if harassment is being conducted at the Jackie Onassis Reservoir as that is where most of the migratory birds briefly rest or winter. But it is difficult to get honest answer from an organization that admits to no harassment at all. This history of recent lies by the Conservancy is extremely unbecoming to an organization relying on public support.
In recent months we have learned that 30% of the world's bird populations have disappeared over the past 50 years. Loss of habitat and heavy pesticide use are the leading causes of animal and bird extinctions.
Please don't tell us there are "plenty" or "too many" Canada geese. We used to have hundreds of millions of Passenger pigeons. (There are 3.8 million Canada geese.) Any species is vulnerable to extinction when humans declare "war" on them and banish them from natural habitats.
The Central Park Conservancy of a few years ago did not conduct goose harassment during the winter and it did not knowingly harass migratory birds.
Why is it doing these things now and why is it repeatedly lying to the public (and employees?) about these unsavory and cruel activities?
The public deserves honest answers as the truth eventually reveals itself anyway. The persistent denials and lies are insult to intelligence and unbefitting an organization of international reputation.
Such senseless and unpardonable tragedy.
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