Friday, September 2, 2011

Urgent Call to Action -- Counting NYC Goose Numbers, A Simple, but Vital Task

Can you help count geese in NYC parks this Labor Day weekend, and over the next month? Canada Geese are now through molting, and have entered the "staging period", the time of year when families join up with others. Their autumn migration can be seen from September to the beginning of November. The early migrants have a tendency to spend less time at rest stops and go through the migration a lot faster.

Now is our opportunity to get a sense of the goose population in NYC. Since 2008, the USDA has been quoting a number of "20,000 to 25,000" resident Canada geese in the NYC metropolitan area and using this figure as rationalization for ongoing and current goose massacres. This, despite the fact that thousands of NYC geese have been rounded up and killed by the USDA and the city of New York since 2008. We have good reason to suspect that the USDA claimed goose count to be highly inflated, however, we cannot prove that.

It is unclear exactly how USDA is coming up with the long quoted figure of 20,000 - 25,000 geese in New York City. At the very least, the number appears to be outdated. Geese will continue to be rounded up and slaughtered around New York City, but we can demonstrate that the actual number of geese in our urban parks is far lower than what is being reported.

It is necessary to form a reliable and committed task force for the purpose of counting, documenting, photographing (when possible) and reporting goose numbers (on a weekly basis) in all city parks and other city owned properties (such as golf courses) over the next 8 months. The importance of this Goosewatch cannot be understated as both the city and the USDA has claimed the "optimum" population of NYC Canada geese to be only 5,000.

What We and the Geese Need You To Do:

Visit your local park at least one day a week. Please count and if possible, photograph any geese that you see. Please report and send the information to:

If you do not see any geese, please report that, too (especially if location previously had geese). Please provide exact location, date and number of geese, if any, that are observed. Please also indicate your name and email contact information.

Please share this with others who also care about saving the wildlife in our parks and want to take some small measure to actively help.

Please read this blog by Patty Adjamine for additional information.