Canada Geese Vilified
Sent to the Journal News (NY) 10/16/03
Mr. Peter Bardunias may not have realized
what he was doing, but he made a terribly disparaging remark about Canada
geese in his article his recent letter to the Journal News (Ban on river
dumps won't achieve much, October 12, 2003).
Mr. Bardunias said "A flock of Canada geese
makes more sewage than does an entire marina full of boats. How about doing
something about that?"
What we can do is to be truthful when speaking of a
species that is among the most unjustly persecuted in recent memory.
Canada geese have been vilified as filthy
birds who spread disease, but this could not be further from the truth. Dr.
Timothy Ford, professor at the Harvard School of Public Health states: "In
my mind, there is no possibility that the Canada goose will ever
be a major route of (Cryptosporidium) infection."
is the bacterium that is widely blamed as the bridge between goose
feces and disease in humans. Dr. Milton Friend, former director of the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife Research Center on Water Fowl
Disease states: "We do have a lot of diseases out there that can affect people.
Most of them come from different places and do not come from the Canada goose
and I'll leave you with that."
Public health and disease experts exonerate
Canada geese of playing a role in the transmission of diseases to humans. It
is time the public recognized that fact.
Canada geese are among the most misunderstood
waterfowl. After finding a life mate, mated pairs raise and protect
their young together and will also look out for one another for as long as they
live. Those who have spent time observing geese will tell you that these
very emotional, intelligent and extremely devoted creatures deeply mourn
not only the loss of their mates, but also the destruction of their
Geese are now part of the suburban landscape
and when we learn to co-exist peacefully with them, it enhances our
appreciation of wildlife and the natural world. Perpetuating mistruths about
geese does no one any good.
Joe Miele, Vice President
Wildlife Watch, Inc.
New Paltz, NY 12561