July 23, 2010 (NY Times) - It’s a doomsday plan for New York’s geese.
A nine-page report put together by a variety of national, state and city agencies shows that officials hope to reduce the number of Canada geese in New York to 85,000 from 250,000.
That means that roughly 170,000 geese — two-thirds of the population — will be killed.
The nearly 400 geese gassed to death this month after being rounded up in Prospect Park in Brooklyn — as well as an unknown number of other geese killed in New York City in recent weeks — were but a small part of the ambitious overall goal outlined in the document, which was obtained by City Room.
“The state of New York has close to 250,000 resident Canada geese, which is more than three times the state’s population goal of 85,000,” the report states. It is unknown how many have been killed so far.
The plan, according to a high-level official at the United States Department of Agriculture, was a result of five months of meetings between February and June 2009, after the crash of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River. Canada geese hit both of the jet’s engines, causing the splashdown.
Those attending the meetings that yielded the plan included officials from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the National Park Service and key staff members from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s office, the official said.
He said that politicians peppered officials from the Department of Agriculture with questions about the science and asked how many goose strikes had occurred and the danger they posed. They learned that there have been 78 Canada goose strikes over 10 years in New York, and that those strikes caused more than $2.2 million in aircraft damage.
The plan was written with the approval of everyone at that table, the official said, including this paragraph:
“The captured geese are placed alive in commercial turkey crates. The geese would be brought to a secure location and euthanized with methods approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Euthanized geese would be buried.”