The content below was submitted by the nonprofit, international organization Friends of Animals.
The Village of Mamaroneck announced it's hiring USDA agents this summer to annihilate Canada Geese who reside in Harbor Island Park, the village’s largest park, and other areas. USDA's "Wildlife Services" will also destroy eggs in nests, in addition to rounding-up and killing adult geese and goslings starting in June 2013.
Mayor Norm Rosenblum, who ordered the killing, claims goose droppings are too numerous—charging ahead with an intolerant, misguided assault—even though Mamaroneck purchased a $30,000 “Toro Rake-O-Vac” machine to effectively remove goose droppings from grassy areas and parks. Go figure.
Edita Birnkrant, NY director of Friends of Animals said, “The Mayor needs a different mindset, and a plan to use the machine recently purchased with tax dollars to clean up goose droppings in parks. Officials must make it a policy to clean up waste matter instead of saying all geese within town limits must die. Posting signs and enforcing no-feeding and littering rules are also sensible steps.”
Rosenblum told News 12 Westchester that Mamaroneck paid for dogs to chase the geese away but “it didn’t work.” Friends of Animals could have predicted that. Harassing geese from areas won’t work because if flat, grassy areas remain unchanged geese will move in when others leave, occupying those areas for nesting, especially in the summer.
Habitat and landscape modifications are environmentally sound, long-term ways to deter geese from areas where they are seen as problematic—clearly what’s needed in Mamaroneck. Co-existence with geese and other wildlife neighbors is required as a part of evolved suburban living.
“Is Mayor Rosenblem prepared to spend the residents' taxes each year to kill geese instead of implementing the effective strategies Friends of Animals endorses,” asked Birnkrant.
Geese are attracted to areas with short, mowed grass with open sight lines as safe nesting areas. Growing grass longer in areas, planting native shrubs and trees to block sight lines (geese like to watch for predators), will deter geese from ponds, shores and parkland—reducing the time they spend in any one spot—especially for the six week period in summer when they're molting.
Friends of Animals produces a Canada Goose Habitat Modification Manual detailing this process, and hopes to meet with Rosenblum to present him with the manual. We'll urge him to implement the changes and spare the geese.
Friends of Animals is urging our members and supporter to take action:
Please call Rosenblum and tell him to cancel the mean-spirited plan to slaughter Canada Geese. Remind him that goose roundups are monstrous--USDA agents typically enter the pond area during early morning, roughly separating goslings from parents, and then stuff the bound, panicked geese and babies into crates. Next, the geese are gassed or shot to death. Ask the mayor if he imagines such immorality is preferable to cleaning the grass and modifying some habitat and landscapes.
Village of Mamaroneck - Mayor Norman S. Rosenblum
Phone: (914) 777-7738
Friends of Animals, an international animal protection organization founded in 1957, advocates for the rights of animals to live free, on their own terms.