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Animal Defenders of Westchester
Articles 2013: A bad summer for geese and other birds
2013: A bad summer for geese and other birds
Local wildlife activists spent a considerable amount of time since January advocating for nonlethal ways of living with Canada geese. As a result, the geese in Scarsdale and Mamaroneck will live another year.
However, Canada geese and other birds throughout the state of New York are not so lucky. A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to see what permits the USDA had obtained for killing Canada geese throughout the state of New York. The results of this request were staggering, and went far beyond “the goose issue.”
According to one permit, the USDA is authorized to kill up to 10,000 birds throughout New York. 5,000 of these birds are Canada geese. The other 5,000 are an assortment of birds that reads like a field guide to birdwatching, except it is a guide to bird-killing: Great Blue Heron, Mallards, Brant Geese, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Wood Duck, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Clapper Rail, Virginia Rail, Spotted Sandpiper, Laughing Gull, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Chimney Swift, Red-headed Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, House Finch, Northern Cardinal, Red-tailed Hawk, Great-horned Owl, Snowy Owl...and on and on. The list is too long to include, and certainly will require substantial taxpayer funds to carry out.
Most people don’t even see these birds, so why are they on a hit-list?
Sadly, there are some who remain unconcerned that the federal government has been killing geese in large numbers. Yet activists have continually pointed out that the USDA Wildlife Services kills millions of animals of diverse species every year, in the shadows, removed from public discussion and scrutiny. This year, the USDA is authorized to come to our state to kill Canada geese as well as dozens of different species of birds.
This leads to the question of how, and why, is the federal government in the business of killing our nation’s wildlife?
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