USDA Wildlife Services Slaughters the GEESE AND DUCKS on the Bronx River in Westchester

On June 28, 2017, at 4:40 am, under cover of darkness, several trucks filled with uniformed USDA Wildlife Services employees arrived at the North White Plains metro station, rounded up the resident geese and duck population and slaughtered them. NO GEESE HAVE BEEN SEEN SINCE THEN FROM BELOW THE COUNTY CENTER TO THE KENSICO DAM, an area once rich with these inoffensive waterbirds, whose only “crime” was “being waterfowl”.

Intolerance toward wildlife is often witnessed during environmental and rescue work. Fear, often irrational, and erroneous, non-factual information put out by pro-kill groups and agencies who work for government contracts (i.e. funding) – or those who just love the bloodshed – confound the issue and compel the public to acquiesce. In this case, few are happy to have lost the geese. Joggers, families and those who use the paths around the river are grieving, in shock and disbelief when they are told of this roundup-kill. Watching the ducks and geese amble quietly through their habitat is calming, helping restore inner peace to a harried, over-stressed existence. This solace in a troubled world for no good reason now torn away, and the people rightfully mourn.

The slaughter in this location has taken place three years in a row, likely longer. When 500 geese were killed at the Yonkers Sprain Lake Golf Course in 2012, ny4whales/ny4wildlife and other enraged activists were told, and assured, by Westchester County Parks Department officials that this would not happen again. LIES, all of it. The slaughters have continued, mostly out of the public’s view, but not this time. While this was not the first slaughter that was witnessed and documented, this is the first one where activists – including ny4wildlife/ny4whales – were immediately notified and able to investigate. We will be discussing the matter with the Westchester County Parks Department and the Army Corps of Engineers, whose work has created dangerous conditions for the wildlife on the river. We will report back; please stay tuned.

A Section of the Bronx River Reservation, where the slaughtered geese and ducks once swam freely. As part of flood mitigation plans, the Army Corps of Engineers has been dropping boulders to line the river banks, an activity which prevents waterfowl from freely accessing the water or land. The blocked shoreline has resulted in severe injuries to the ducks and geese, who must often flee people or predators (including illegally unleashed dogs on the bike paths) and have no choice but to crash into rocks and the thick bramble plantings. The number of injured birds has increased since the Army Corps of Engineers began this work without what many believe would be easy solutions to compensate for the needs of wildlife.