From the Brooklyn Paper:
The 250 geese and goslings that were massacred in Prospect Park in July were only the tip of the goose-berg, new documents reveal.
Federal agents rounded up a total of 1,676 geese from 19 locations in the city and Nassau County — apparently making last summer’s operation the largest intentional waterfowl extermination in city history.
The birds were thrown into crates and hauled to JFK Airport, where they were gassed, bagged, and discarded, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request. The goose-filled Dumpsters were then hauled to an incinerator in Garden City.
All 19 locations visited by Wildlife Services agents last summer remain a mystery, but documents from the Port Authority — the agency managing the city’s airports — do reveal a few of the sites in addition to Prospect Park:
• In Queens, agents slaughtered geese in Alley Pond Park, Little Neck Bay and Fort Totten.
• Animals on Rikers Island and Randall’s Island were also swept up in the culling.
Some saw the stunning scale of the goose massacre as evidence that the policy needed to change.
“It is certainly the largest waterfowl [massacre] we know of,” said Patrick Kwan, the New York State director of the Humane Society of the United States. “It’s an example of why we need transparency. For 1,600 geese to be killed without New Yorkers knowing what was going on or being able to consider alternatives … it’s not the most effective, efficient or humane method.”
But gassing is the method favored by the city — and it is possible that it will be expanded to include the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge next year.
The chief of resource management at the Gateway National Recreation area, Dave Avrin, said a study was underway to determine how to control the goose population in the area. Previously, Jamaica Bay, which is part of a National Park, was off-limits to Wildlife Services.
“We are going through an Environmental Impact Statement at this time,” said Avrin. “One of the alternatives is to cull them next year, another is not. We’ll determine which one at the end of the process.”