Within 5 Miles Of JFK And LaGuardia Airports New York City And USDA Will Euthanize Up To 2,000 Geese From City Owned Property





Within 5 Miles Of JFK And LaGuardia Airports New York City And USDA Will Euthanize Up To 2,000 Geese From City Owned Property

By Dana Murphy



June 13, 2009, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services State Director Martin Lowney announced a comprehensive set of safety measures (Canada Geese Mitigation Measures) to reduce the population of Canada geese near City airports and on properties owned by the City. The safety measures include removal of Canada geese from select City-owned properties, new efforts to discourage Canada geese from landing on Rikers Island - which is less than one mile from LaGuardia Airport's runways - and new signage in City parks.

New Your City will send out workers  to near by parks to trap and gas, (using an avicide) as many as 2,000 Canada geese over the next few weeks. An avicide is any substance (normally, a chemical) which is used to kill birds. Commonly used avicides include strychnine, DRC-1339 (3-chloro-4-methylaniline hydrochloride, Starlicide) and CPTH (3-chloro-p-toluidine, the free base of Starlicide), and Avitrol (4-aminopyridine). Chloralose is also used as an avicide.


"The serious dangers that Canada geese pose to aviation became all to clear when geese struck US Airways Flight 1549," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Thanks to the heroic efforts of Captain Sullenberger, the Flight 1549 crew, local ferry boat operators and the City's emergency response agencies, no lives were lost. But the incident served as a catalyst to strengthen our efforts in removing geese from, and discouraging them from nesting on, City property near our runways."

"Our partnership with the City should provide comfort to the tens of millions of aviation customers and show that we're serious about ensuring their safety," said Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward. "This new initiative will build on measures the Port Authority is already taking to eliminate wildlife hazards at the airports, including the installation of a state-of-the-art bird radar trial program at JFK airport, hiring a second wildlife biologist - two of only seven airport biologists in the nation, expanding shotgun training for field supervisors, and returning to Rikers Island for the sixth straight year of roundups."

"Research has shown that resident Canada geese in several New York studies stay within five miles of a particular location and that 74 percent of wildlife strikes occur at or near the airport," said Martin Lowney, Director of the USDA Wildlife Services program in New York. "In taking this first step in urban wildlife management, air travel safety should be improved without harm to the species as a whole." 


In addition to the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549, there have been 77 goose strikes with aircraft in New York over the past 10 years, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  The State Department of Environmental Conservation states that the Metropolitan region, encompassing New York City; Nassau; Suffolk; Rockland; and Westchester counties, has an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 resident Canada geese.

The City of New York is contracting with the USDA to remove Canada geese from approximately 40 parks, wastewater treatment plants, and various City-owned properties within five miles of JFK and LaGuardia Airports.  USDA and City personnel will remove and dispose of Canada geese from targeted areas, including Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and Fort Totten Park, during the molting season from the middle of June through the end of July.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, has issued a permit to the USDA to capture and remove Canada geese, which in this instance pose a public safety hazard. In addition, the City and the Port Authority will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which the Port Authority will pay half the cost of the USDA culling program. The City and the Port Authority will continue to work with the Wildlife Hazard Management Steering Committee to implement additional mitigation strategies for Canada geese and other potential threats to aircraft at LaGuardia and JFK airports.  The City and USDA will work with the Port Authority to measure the impact and effectiveness of the culling throughout the year. It is estimated that up to 2,000 Canada geese will be removed through these efforts. The National Audubon Society appears to be in support of these measures.

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