Mayor Bloomberg and Sen. Gillibrand: End the War on NYC’s Canada Geese


Petitioning The President of the United States

Mayor Bloomberg and Sen. Gillibrand: End the War on NYC’s Canada Geese

Petition by GooseWatch NYC
 Mayor Bloomberg and Sen. Gillibrand: End the War on NYC's Canada Geese

Since the landing of US Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson River in January of 2009, the City of New York has contracted with USDA Wildlife Services for hundreds of thousands of dollars to round up and slaughter thousands of Canada geese and goslings from New York City’s parks. Last summer, Sen. Gillibrand introduced federal legislation which led to the roundup and slaughter of 751 Canada geese at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. These slaughters are inhumane and an ineffective waste of taxpayer dollars.

Canada geese are beautiful, intelligent birds who mate for life, fiercely protect their eggs and young, and display loyalty for other members of their flock. The methods that USDA Wildlife Services uses to kill geese are broadly understood to be grossly inhumane – during the hottest months of the year flightless geese and goslings are corralled, packed into turkey crates and transported to slaughterhouses or gas chambers; to do so in a wildlife refuge is completely unacceptable, violating the essential concept of a refuge.

Killing Canada geese in the name of air safety is inherently flawed. Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Gillibrand claim that killing geese prevents bird strikes, but all leading bird strike scientists disagree. Many major cities around the world are keeping airports safe from potential bird strikes without resorting to lethal methods. Aviation experts have reiterated that a cull will not make the skies safer for flying. “The consensus among wildlife experts appears to be that a goose cull won’t really do much to reduce the likelihood of bird strikes, especially since there are dozens of birds that use the [Jamaica Bay] preserve,” Russ Niles, editor-in-chief of wrote in a May 6 editorial. “I have not seen where [culling] has been effective as a long-term solution,” said Jim Hall, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board under the Clinton administration. Ron Merritt, a biologist and former Chief for the Air Force’s Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard Team agrees, adding, “Killing 1,000 geese really isn’t going to do anything. If you kill them, nature will fill that vacuum and a new species will pop up in its place.” Environmentalists know the golden rule of ecosystems: if one species is removed, another species will take over.

Research shows that the most effective programs use long-term, non-lethal strategies that reduce or remove the physical conditions that attract particular species to an airport. Birds can be kept out of the pathways of aircraft by employing proven radar detection systems and dissuasive tactics. Habitat modification is also being used successfully to discourage populations of geese from colonizing. Geese numbers can be humanely reduced using proven methods developed especially for use in Canada geese.

The USDA Canada goose slaughters are conducted without community notification, transparency, or accountability. The roundups of Canada geese are financed by taxpayers and conducted by a federal agency in city parks, which are public spaces. The public has a right to transparency of governmental operations, and at a minimum, to view video documentation of the treatment of Canada geese during the roundups in order judge for themselves whether they support these extreme measures.

GooseWatch NYC was formed in 2011 in response to the roundup and killing of Canada geese in New York City parks that started in 2009. Recently, the organization has assisted with grassroots efforts in ScarsdaleMamoroneck and North Hempstead, where the planned killing of geese was called off. For more information, please visit

The President of the United States
The U.S. Senate
The U.S. House of Representatives
The NY State Senate
The NY State House
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York
Sen. Charles Schumer, New York
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Dave Avrin, National Park Service
Secretary Tom Vilsack, United States Dept. of Agriculture
Eric Schneiderman, New York State Attorney General
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Christine C. Quinn, New York City Council Speaker
Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President
John Liu, NYC Comptroller
Bill DeBlasio, NYC Public Advocate
William Thompson, Jr.
Martin Lowney, USDA
Inspector General, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Farrell Sklerov, New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Patrick J. Foye, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Melissa Mark-Viverito, NYC Councilmember
Mark Weprin, NYC Councilmember
Jimmy Van Bramer, NYC Councilmember
Peter F. Vallone, Jr., NYC Councilmember
James Vacca, NYC Councilmember
Eric Ulrich, NYC Councilmember
James S. Oddo, NYC Councilmember
Stephen Levin, NYC Councilmember
Brad Lander, NYC Councilmember
Karen Koslowitz, NYC Councilmember
Peter Koo, NYC Councilmember
Letitia James, NYC Councilmember
Vincent J. Gentile, NYC Councilmember
Sally Jewell, Secretary of the US Dept. of the Interior
Inez Dickens, NYC Councilmember
I am writing to express my opposition to the killing of geese in New York City by USDA Wildlife Services, and request your support.Canada geese are beautiful, intelligent birds who mate for life, fiercely protect their eggs and young, and display loyalty for other members of their flock. USDA agents will capture vulnerable geese during the summer molt, when they can’t fly, separate parents…

Volunteers flock to save NYC’s Canada geese


Volunteers flock to save NYC’s Canada geese


By Emily Johnson

Published: June 11, 2013

More than 500 local animal rights activists are staking out parks across the five boroughs to cry foul on the roundup and killing of Canada geese, a practice they say is barbaric and ineffective.

“New York City has contracted with USDA Wildlife Services, an agency known for its cruelty to animals,” said David Karopkin, the founder and director of GooseWatch NYC, which describes itself as a coalition of “animal advocates, pilots, biologists, veterinarians, policy makers, community leaders, and members of the general public.”

USDA agents round up the geese in the summer when they are molting and unable to fly, so the arrival of warm weather means the advocates are stepping up their vigilance.

Typically, once the geese are captured, the adults are separated from the chicks, after which they are either trucked away to be slaughtered—in some cases, donated to soup kitchens despite concerns about contaminated meat—or placed into mobile gas chambers to be asphyxiated.

The culling of New York City geese began in 2009, largely as a response to the bird strike that sent US Airways Flight 1549 down into the Hudson in January of that year.
– See more at:

INCove Official Release Site


What: INCove Official Release Site
Where: Inwood’s North Cove
When: Aug 1, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Description: Inwood’s North Cove (INCove) Official Federal “Rehab & Release” SiteNYC Wild Bird Fund, a federally licensed wildlife facility, selects Inwood’s North Cove as new release site for water fowl after treatment.

The Wild Bird Fund is a non-profit organization helping to save wildbirds and wildlife in NYC.