Wildlife advocates are calling for an end to the trapping and killing of squirrels at the Queensview Co-op in Astoria, Queens which has hired a nuisance wildlife control operator (NWCO) to trap and kill squirrels who they've deemed to be nuisances.
The Empty Cages Collective, an all-volunteer grassroots environmental and animal advocacy organization is leading the campaign to stop the ineffective attempt to manage the squirrel population and encourage the use of non-lethal and humane methods of dealing with human/squirrel conflicts.
The Queensview Co-Op claims the squirrels are chewing the wires of vehicles and getting into homes. However, random trapping and removing the squirrels is not a viable long-term solution to conflicts with squirrels. As nature works to ensure that all habitat is sufficiently utilized, new squirrels will simply replace the ones trapped and killed.
According to PJ McKosky, spokesman for the Empty Cages Collective, these squirrels will continue to get into homes and chew wires if no habitat modification or repellents are used. Thus, an endless and expensive cycle of inefficient and cruel trapping of animals has the potential of becoming commonplace. McKosky advocates humane deterrents to prevent squirrels from entering areas (like attics, windows) by using chimney caps and other barriers.
The Empty Cages Collective is calling upon the public to write, call, fax, and e-mail Queensview Co-Op demanding they cease trapping immediately and find non-lethal AND humane methods of dealing with human/squirrel conflicts. Tell them other squirrels will fill the gap of the missing squirrels so the problem will never be solved by trapping. Mention that babies are being left to starve and dehydrate to death.
Frank Marcovitz, Property Manager
21-66 33rd Road
Astoria Queens, NY 11106
(718) 274-0567 (Fax)
While the Queensview Co-op claims that the squirrels are being captured to be released elsewhere, the fact is many NWCO companies lie about the final disposition of the animals they trap. Even if they are relocated, relocated wildlife suffer high mortality rates. Any habitat that has sufficient food and nesting sites for a particular species most likely already has the maximum number of said species sustained there.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact PJ McKosky (Peter J McKosky) with the Empty Cages Collective. (917) 400-3351.
Thanks for your time. Below are some facts:
*Female grey squirrels often have dependent young at this time of year. Trapping adult squirrels inevitably leads to baby squirrels being orphaned and dying of dehydration, starvation, exposure and lack of maternal care.
*Trapping and killing/relocation is ineffective and a waste of money. There is no possible way that Queensview Co-op will trap every squirrel in Astoria. Even if they did, it is only a temporary solution, as new squirrels will inhabit the vacant area, as the habitat remains welcoming to squirrels.
*Trapping is indiscriminate. Queensview Co-op employees allege that a squirrel chewed the wires in one resident's vehicle. Attempting to trap any and all squirrels because one squirrel gnawed on wires one time is overkill.
*Many residents appreciate the presence of urban wildlife, and are opposed to the trapping and removal of the squirrels.
*Humane alternatives exist to trapping – repellents, exclusions, and tolerant attitudes are better ways of dealing with human-wildlife conflict.
* A 2004 study showed that grey squirrels who were live-trapped and relocated from suburban areas to a large forest showed that a staggering 97 percent of the squirrels either soon died or disappeared from their release area. Relocation is often a death sentence for wildlife.