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Don’t just stand there — save geese • Brooklyn Paper

Don’t just stand there — save geese

What does a random day in March have to do with July 8, 2010?

The folly of Hands Around the Lake last weekend, together with the goals of the inhumane wildlife management plan, is that they are for display only; an empty gesture, and troubling in how well they fit with the killings of the entire population of the resident Canada Geese on July 8, 2010.

The USDA is not coming in 2011 to do their lethal trapping of waterfowl because the early morning violence perpetrated on the resident bird life of Prospect Park has done a great deal of harm to the association between families and their city. Air safety had been enhanced by having resident Canada geese at Prospect Park Lake. The killings destroyed decades of stability to the balance naturally created and new Canada geese have since arrived to establish residency.

Each year, tens of thousands of visitors come to enjoy the wildlife. Many are families with small children who marvel at the mute swans, Canada geese, mallards and other waterfowl playing along the watercourse. Parents stop to explain to the children what they are seeing is nature’s relationship in an urban landscape. It is valuable for those who live in a large urban environment to interact with animals in a park, not only a zoo, and learn to respect other living creatures.

We who live in New York City have an obligation and a right to keep this unique experience a possibility for future visitors. In the summer of 2010, the trust was broken.

The future protection of the wildlife and their habitat is at stake here. Wildlife is not an abstract. The first item on the agenda for the newly created Wildlife Management Advisory Committee should be to correct the years of neglect to the wildlife habitat of Prospect Park. The lake is being polluted year after year through the dumping of barbecue coals and other debris into the watercourse. The evidence of erosion and disrepair of the lakeside is overwhelming to those who care for the environment.

It was announced that the managers of the plan consider hiring Border Collies to harass the Canada geese in May and June, the time when their young, obviously helpless and flightless goslings are born. Where do they think they are going to chase the Canada geese away to? To be killed somewhere else to ease their collective conscience this time? The tactic of using fear instead of reason is mind numbing. They have avoided at every chance to stand up against destroying waterfowl families through harassment, addling, and destruction of their nests and instead promote these inhumane tactics. We want wildlife management that supports the protection of our urban wildlife, as well as the maintenance of their habitats from abuses.

To quote a famous English logician: “The March Hare will be much the most interesting, and perhaps as this is May it won’t be raving mad — at least not so mad as it was in March.”

Anne-Katrin Titze is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and active park goer.

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