Wednesday, April 27, 2005

In Greenwich, First A Deer Hunt, Now Geese

It felt so good to kill deer, why not do the same with another nuisance animal -- namely Canada geese? That seems to be the attitude in Greenwich, where the bloodlust has hit.

In March, Greenwich hired sharpshooters, who killed 80 deer at three town parks. Now the town has asked the Connecticut DEP for permission to kill geese, according to the Greenwich Time:

The town wants to hire the U.S. Department of Agriculture to collect the birds and kill them elsewhere.

I'm far less sympathetic to the idea of killing geese than I am to killing deer, and I was pleased to see in the newspaper article that Tom Baptist, of Audubon Connecticut, is less sympathetic too:

"I am not opposed to the management of nuisance concentrations of Canada geese. Lethal methods, however, should be the last resort," said Baptist ... . "My reading of the proposed plan suggests a number of questions that have not been satisfactorily answered."

Audubon Connecticut has some credibility here because, like the town, it documented a deer problem at its preserve in Greenwich and recruited hunters -- bowhunters, rather than sharpshooters -- to kill deer. The hunters shot 25 in the winter of '04-'05 and 30 the year before.

The problem in Greenwich is an aesthetic one. The town and its residents like broad emerald lawns sweeping down unblemished to the man-made ponds in their parks and on their estates. These lawns are deer eden.

From the Greenwich Time:

... Audubon Connecticut doesn't have problems with Canada geese. Baptist said Audubon manages its property so that no lawn is kept to the edge of any wetlands. The town's efforts to reduce the amount of lawn bordering water bodies -- an attractive scene for Canada geese -- have been half-hearted, he said.

"Nowhere in Audubon's 645 acres are Canada geese a problem," Baptist said. "This is a proposal that at the outset seems to be based on unsupported hypotheses."


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