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No Prospect Park geese will be executed this summer — because there are no geese left to kill • Brooklyn Paper

No Prospect Park geese will be executed this summer — because there are no geese left to kill

The current population of Canada geese in Prospect Park probably doesn't know it, but federal officials can kill them.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

The feds won’t slaughter geese in Prospect Park this year — because there aren’t any left to kill, wildlife advocates say.

Two years after the US Department of Agriculture exterminated more than 250 waterfowl in Brooklyn’s backyard, city officials announced the feathered creatures are safe this summer because the goose count is too low.

So low, bird lovers say, the commitment is akin to promising not to murder any flamingos in Central Park.

“There are literally zero geese in Prospect Park,” said David Karopkin, director of GooseWatch NYC — an organization committed to keeping urban waterfowl alive. “It’s depressing.”

Park watchdog and goose advocate Anne-Katrin Titze gives a higher count, saying there are two goose nests in the park and 15 Canada geese molting in and around the park’s water features.

Either way, federal officials won’t collect geese in the park during this year’s annual round-up because fewer than 20 of the birds were counted there this spring, the New York Times reported last week.

The goose population is significantly lower than last year due to a management program that involves oiling eggs to keep them from hatching and using dogs to chase away geese, city officials say.

Numbers never fully recovered after a massive late-night slaughter in July 2010 when United States Department of Agriculture officials gassed the squawkers in the name of airplane safety.

A Parks Department spokeswoman confirmed that, like last year, federal authorities won’t visit Prospect Park this summer — but declined to say whether the agency will cull birds in Williamsburg’s East River State Park.

That’s part of why Karopkin said GooseWatchers plan to keep an eye on the dozen-or-so geese who call that park home.

“Until the round ups are over, we’re gonna be camping out,” he said.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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