Canada Geese New Jersey



Killing Program a Failure



If you’re not familiar with the term “Cash Cow”, it’s a business metaphor rooted in the notion that a dairy cow can be milked continually with little expense after being acquired. 




USDA Wildlife Services has found a Cash Cow in New Jersey’s taxpayers by capitalizing on resident Canada goose complaints.


After years of subsidizing lethal round up contracts, resident goose population reduction efforts have proved a complete failure.


The number of resident geese in New Jersey has not decreased or even been stabilized. The number has increased. 


In February 2002, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and USDA Wildlife Services published a Draft Environmental Impact Statement on resident Canada goose management. New Jersey’s resident goose population was an estimated 85,000. The “population objective” was to reduce the number of resident geese to 41,000.


Now, six years later, Ted Nichols, Waterfowl Ecology and Management Program biologist and Eric Davis, Supervisor of FWS New Jersey Field Office, estimate New Jersey’s resident goose population to be 95,000 and 100,000, respectively.


Factors attributing to failed attempts to reduce the resident goose population include, but are not limited to: 1. Expressed public opposition to lethal methods of goose control. 2. Community decision makers’ preference to act in a humane manner. 3. Recognition that killing the geese is an exercise in futility. 4. Well designed non-lethal goose abatement programs.


But no factor has played a more major role in failure than that of the self-

serving, revenue-driven wildlife management practices of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


The number of geese that can be rounded up and killed each year is not determined by those seeking removal of geese. The number is decided upon by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, whose depredation permits authorize goose destruction. As per the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, no lethal action may be taken against the geese without obtaining a depredation permit, first.  Permit applicants are asked to estimate the number of geese inhabiting the locations for which lethal removal is being sought. Yet, when permits are

issued, they authorize permittees to kill only a fraction of their estimated numbers. This is clear evidence the Service prefers goose numbers remain elevated to accommodate USDA Wildlife Services’ Cash Cow.


Not having the professional training and equipment to exercise their own permits, municipalities and counties have little choice but to enter into Cooperative Service Agreements with USDA Wildlife Services, who stands ready with their carbon dioxide gas chambers to mass kill geese and goslings on site.


Deterring the geese from visiting areas deemed inconvenient is easily accomplished with a well designed non-lethal goose abatement program that is carried out in all sincerity and with humane intentions. After all, who isn’t intelligent enough to out-smart the geese without taking their lives? 


Six years of wasted, valuable tax dollars, spent on round up contracts, warrants USDA Wildlife Services’ Cash Cow be put out to pasture.