• December 18, 2014
  • Welcome!
    |
    ||
    Logout|My Dashboard

Queens Chronicle

Jamaica Bay geese targeted by feds

Resident population a threat to air travel, wildlife, officials say

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:04 am, Thu Jul 18, 2013.

Almost a year after hundreds of Canada geese were removed from Jamaica Bay, killed and given to food pantries, federal agencies are rounding them up again.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services staff, assisted by National Park Service employees, removed 231 resident Canada geese from Jamaica Bay, including from inside the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, on July 2, though National Park Service spokeswoman Daphne Yun said the number of birds culled was 262.

The geese were transported to poultry processing facilities and the resulting meat will be supplied to food charities in the area. About 100 additional geese were observed but not collected.

This is the second year the two agencies removed a large number of Canada geese from the bay. Last July, about 700 birds were removed.

According to a fact sheet from the NPS, up to 500 geese will be culled this summer at Jamaica Bay, but between 300 and 500 resident birds will not be killed.

Canada geese are culled in the summer because they molt their feathers this time of year, which prevents them from being able to fly, making it easier for them to be rounded up.

The USDA said the overabundant Canada geese population threatens both air travel into and out of nearby JFK Airport and the salt marsh habitat of Jamaica Bay. Several bird strikes have been recorded at JFK, though none were due to Canada geese. However, a couple of strikes at LaGuardia Airport — including the 2009 incident involving US Airways Flight 1549, which was forced to land in the Hudson River after birds took out both the plane’s engines — was due to the species.

“For aviation, Canada geese are among the most hazardous birds,” said USDA spokeswoman Carol Bannerman in an email. “Although goose-aircraft strikes aren’t common, more than half are with multiple geese and three-quarters have an effect on the flight or cause damage.”

Bannerman added that the birds are also harmful to the bay’s ecosystem. According to the National Park Service, the geese have damaged marshland.

At Big Egg Marsh, which Gateway has helped restore with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies, geese ripped out the roots of newly planted grasses, denuding newly planted areas and eroding salt marshes.

But Don Riepe, president of the American Littoral Society’s northeast chapter, said the main reason for culling the birds is air travel safety.

“Air travel is the primary reason for them to get rid of the geese,” he explained. “The effect on the marshland is a secondary concern.”

The birds live around Jamaica Bay all year round and differ from migratory Canada geese in that they only visit the bay in the spring and fall during their migration. The resident population was brought to the bay decades ago from the Midwest for hunters, but have adapted to the area. They often show up on front lawns of homes in the Rockaways and Howard Beach and can be seen along trails in the wildlife refuge.

The culling was conducted under a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, which manages geese under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The USDA has also targeted Canada geese populations near LaGuardia Airport.

At Rikers Island, Wildlife Service staff began egg treatment in 2001 and capture-removal in 2004. Each year, the number of eggs to be oiled and the number of resident Canada geese to be removed has decreased. In 2009, additional habitat management took place. There have been only two Canada-goose strikes at LaGardia — including the US Airways Flight 1549 incident — since September 2004.

“Studies are showing decreased strikes at airports with wildlife hazard management,” Bannerman said.

Some animal rights advocates have protested the slaughter, calling it unfair and inhumane, and Riepe said children around Jamaica Bay often feed the geese.

“They definitely have their constituents too,” Riepe said. “I’m glad people are concerned about wildlife and holding government agencies accountable, but we understand the danger posed to air travel.”

More about

More about

Welcome to the discussion.

8 comments:

  • David B posted at 4:21 am on Fri, Jul 12, 2013.

    David B Posts: 1

    Domenick - you did not seem to find or look very hard for Delta Flight 1063 on which a passenger captured 8 Canada Geese flying by the starboard side of the aircraft and which one or more of those 8 geese were ingested into the Starboard engine - destroying it. Look it up on you tube - the videos are there - very compelling evidence really. Delta Flight 1063 took off out of JFK's eastbound runway adjacent to Jamaica Bay and was only airborne for a few seconds when it ploughed into the geese. The aircraft circled and returned to land on the other engine but the engine cost millions of dollars to replace - every single turbo fan blade inside it was shattered. The New York New Jersey Port Authority paid the damages to the aircraft just as they did for the La Guardia flight of flight 1549 - that one cost over $100 million dollars. Canada Geese are an enormous problem for aircraft as they are larger than the planes components are designed or tested for - which is a four pound chicken - not a 12-20 lb goose. Killing them or removing them is a very temporary fix and only a minor reduction in risk. JFK shoots thousands of birds every year - more keep coming and the bird strike numbers keep rising.

     
  • killinggeesedoesnotprotectplanes posted at 2:11 pm on Thu, Jul 11, 2013.

    killinggeesedoesnotprotectplanes Posts: 16

    Flight 1549 ran into migratory geese from Labrador, Canada. Flight 1549 was also an Airbus A320.

    The FAA issued warnings in 2004 that the Airbus A320 was prone to DOUBLE ENGINE FAILURE.

    “An emergency safety directive has been issued to airlines using twin-engine Airbus A320s after both engines on one stalled over the Mediterranean, just 18 days after an Air New Zealand A320 crashed killing all seven on board………. American authorities warned such stalling problems could prevent continued safe flight or landing.”

    http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/tech_ops/read.main/246674/

    About 645 people died in a decade in A320 crashes...NONE of those crashes was related to a Canada goose or any other wildlife.

     
  • killinggeesedoesnotprotectplanes posted at 1:39 pm on Thu, Jul 11, 2013.

    killinggeesedoesnotprotectplanes Posts: 16

    IF the USDA's killing program was achieving anything they would be have some stats to show and they NEVER do. The goose strikes in NY are the same as anyplace else in similar flyway/coastal locations where they don’t kill geese.

    Israel's Birdstrike Control Program was instituted at Hurlbert Airport in Florida and resulted in a 100% REDUCTION OF LETHAL WILDLIFE CONTROL and huge reduction in costs related to birdstrikes; it resulted in a decrease in costs due to birdstrikes in Israel from over 10 million a year to 82,000 a year.

    ISRAEL’S BIRDSTRIKE CONTROL PROGRAM (BCP)

    More than 500 million birds cross Israel's narrow airspace… twice every year. Many of these birds overnight at or near IAF airbases where some stay days, and even months, to “refuel” before continuing their long migration.

    Prior to BCP’s involvement with the IAF, average annual damage to IAF aircraft due to birds at the Israeli airbases was roughly US $10.3 million/year. SINCE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF BCP’S WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT PROTOCOLS AND GUIDELINES MORE THAN 9 YEARS AGO, THE IAF HAS ONLY SUFFERED A TOTAL OF US $82,000 IN DAMAGE combined for all major airbases that have implemented the program (or roughly US $8,400/year).

    ALL HARASSMENT CONDUCTED BY BCP’S PERSONNEL IS NON-LETHAL AND CONSERVATION FRIENDLY.

    ISRAEL’S BCP INSTITUTED AT HURLBERT AIRFORCE BASE FLORIDA:

    Accomplishments and reductions in costs as a result of the wildlife control services provided by BCP’s program at Hurlburt Airfield have been dramatic and resulted in being recognized in a variety of awards and acknowledgements of performance. They include:

    90% reduction in repair cost for bird strikes; 95% reduction in repair costs due to damaging wildlife strikes at Hurlburt Airfield. Note: Three FY06 damaging bird strikes occurred away from Hurlburt Field over low-level training routes; 80% reduction in pyrotechnic usage; 100% REDUCTION IN NECESSITY FOR LETHAL CONTROL MEASURES (LCM)

    http://www.birdstrikecontrol.com/results.html

    If the aviation industry is interested in reducing their costs due to birdstrikes they should kick the USDA out of their wildlife management job and get some EXPERTS who can achieve results.

     
  • killinggeesedoesnotprotectplanes posted at 1:35 pm on Thu, Jul 11, 2013.

    killinggeesedoesnotprotectplanes Posts: 16

    Geese migrate in the winter and they also migrate when they molt their feathers; they will fly hundreds of miles to molt in a safe location with lots of water and food. It is known a lot of geese arrived at Jamaica Bay during the molting period and these geese would have left again as soon as they were able to fly again. MOLT MIGRANTS...look it up.

    The goose population in NY is no surprise; various groups including the DEC, Atlantic Flyway Committee, and US Fish and Wildlife has known what the yearly resident goose population has been since before they started raising and releasing Canada geese decades ago. So there is no excuse for not implementing humane goose management plans in the state community by community. They did nothing and now they handed them over to be the USDAs killing cash cow.

    And for resident geese...egg addling DOES WORK and is PROVEN TO WORK. MEDIA RELEASE: Egg Addling Controls Goose Population

    “In a continued effort to control the Canada Goose population in the Okanagan Valley, the Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program is about to begin its annual egg addling program. Over the PAST SIX YEARS, this program has prevented the exponential increase of the non-migratory resident goose population that inhabits the valley all year long………Since the program began in 2007, approximately 7,700 EGGS HAVE BEEN PREVENTED FROM HATCHING THROUGH THIS MINIMALLY INVASIVE APPROACH…. ….In order for the program to succeed, new nests need to be identified. The PUBLIC IS ASKED TO REPORT lone geese, pairs of geese or nest locations on private or public land.”

    http://www.okanagangooseplan.com/?p=270

    In addition to ground surveys, aerial surveys were conducted in 2007 and 2011 to estimate the number of geese residing in the Okanagan Valley and to determine what proportion of the population were hatched that year. THE CANADA GOOSE POPULATION APPEARS TO HAVE STABILIZED THROUGHOUT THE VALLEY.

    http://www.okanagangooseplan.com/?cat=6

    GOOSE STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN.

    http://www.okanagangooseplan.com/files/OVGMP_Strategy_Action%20Plan_2006.pdf

    The Okanagan Valley in BC is a major tourist and recreational area. The Okanagan Lake is 70 miles long. Other major industries include orchards and vineyards. The valley is as big as the state of NJ and they have a humane egg addling program which has successfully stabilized their permanent resident Canada goose population.


     
  • kg posted at 1:25 pm on Thu, Jul 11, 2013.

    kg Posts: 2

    Unbelievable. Did the journalist even attempt to present more than one side to the story here? Or is this a verbatim USDA press release? Carol Bannerman is 100% wrong when she labels Canada geese as the most dangerous bird. Besides, the facts are bird strikes are extremely rare---of any species---and rarely cause human death. Compare that to the two most recent plane crashes that are most likely from an inexperienced pilot and faulty equipment, as are most crashes.

    Also, just about every aviation expert, and every other industrialized nation, endorses nonlethal means to deal with bird strikes. This is a war on wildlife, plain and simple. They are dressing it up as "air safety" and "protecting the grasses" because if they actually said what their real intentions are, the public would be disgusted. There is no evidence that the geese are harming that ecosystem in ANY WAY. The geese that were killed were not even permanent residents of the "Refuge." They had only come there to molt for 5 weeks, and would have left, and yet they were killed. Those who were monitoring the geese there (without an ulterior motive) have made note of this FACT.

    And the USDA...they make millions of dollars to kill millions of animals every year. They are a corrupt organization that is the subject of major exposes, investigations, and major widespread public protest.

    When it comes to air safety, killing resident birds does zero except to give the uninformed public the illusion that the govt is protecting them. Think about it. Birds fly around the sky, thousands upon thousands migrate along the Atlantic Flyway every year from all over the globe. You cannot KILL your way out of this issue. You need to manage it through the host of technological, structural, and natural methods (as other countries do, except the US).

     
  • killinggeesedoesnotprotectplanes posted at 12:59 pm on Thu, Jul 11, 2013.

    killinggeesedoesnotprotectplanes Posts: 16

    "Several bird strikes have been recorded at JFK, though none were due to Canada geese. "

    If you did ANY research you would see there were more goose strikes at JFK than La Guarding. There is an FAA BIRDSTRIKE DATA BASE. WE CAN ALL check the birdstrikes and we don't have to rely on bad reporting or USDA propaganda.

    I checked the data base for JFK and La Guardia back to January, 2005. There have been 3 goose strikes at La Guardia in 9 years and there have been 10 goose strikes at JFK in the same period.

    There were NO goose strikes at La Guardia since Oct 14, 2010 and that 'strike' consisted of finding dead geese on the runway. The strike in 2009 was Flight 1549 that hit MIGRATING geese from Labrador Canada. There was a strike April 11, 2006. These are the three goose strikes at La Guardina since 2005.

    Most of the bird strikes occur during the migratory period. And JFKs goose strikes are comparable to YVR in Vancouver, BC where they DON'T KILL GEESE.

    Most of the geese rounded up at Jamaica Bay were probably molt migrants that flew into a 'safe place' to molt and they would have flown out as soon as they could fly again. God help the world with this unscientific flawed reasoning that killing birds 'keeps planes safe'. There were two plane crashes in the last few days, including one in Alaska that killed ten people, NO BIRDS INVOLVED.

     
  • PattyA posted at 12:34 pm on Thu, Jul 11, 2013.

    PattyA Posts: 1

    This is a very one-sided, poorly researched piece.

    For one matter, the author should look up the word, "Refuge" in a dictionary.
    (Hint: It is not a place for birds to be rounded up for slaughter.)

    Secondly, he states that USDA "observed" but did not collect "100 additional geese."

    USDA never leaves additional geese behind without reason.

    One suspects the reason in this case were several park goers who showed up with cameras, including two members from Goosewatch, NYC.

    Videos of the cruel roundup and frantic, crying geese crammed 5 to 6 into small turkey crates are now on YouTube.

    The journalist continues to pipe out the same old lame excuses for goose carnage offered up by USDA and the spinless officials who went along with the "removal." (Nice try for euphemism.)

    But, the fact is most of the damage to marshlands is caused by sewage treatment plant runoffs as well as fuel runoffs from JFK airport. A hurricane last year causing billions of dollars of damage and destruction could not have helped either.

    As for the "airline safety" excuse, where does one begin on that? 0.68 of airline crashes are caused by bird strikes and of these, Canada geese represent a tiny fraction of that already miniscule number. Pilot error is the most common cause of airline crashes as it was this week in San Francisco. Should we "cull" all the pilots?

    It is truly sad when media acts as mouthpieces for government, rather than watchdogs. Important questions were not asked when doing this article and important information was left out of it. -- Such as Canada geese are in no way "overabundant" in New York State. It is only human tolerance for wildlife that is pathectically lacking.

    Even geese on a National Wildlife Refuge are not safe from the toxic and lethal hands of the federal government and gutless wonder officials who seem to have forgotten their appointed mission. That of PROTECTION of wildlife and particularly WATERFOWL.

    For more on lame excuses and things not making any sense, please go to:

    http://talesamptailsofnewyork.blogspot.com/2013/07/if-it-doesnt-make-sense-it-is-not-true.html

    Sad excuse for journalism.

     
  • mslucy posted at 11:36 am on Thu, Jul 11, 2013.

    mslucy Posts: 1

    The USDA said the overabundant Canada geese population threatens both air travel into and out of nearby JFK Airport and the salt marsh habitat of Jamaica Bay.

    Liar!!!