The resident Canada geese population in New York has increased exponentially since 1990, and is estimated at 250,000 by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Yet in all that time, not a single case of human illness has been substantiated as species-specific from Canada geese.
Killing these geese has become common, most recently in Mamaroneck, where the mayor says kids can get sick from the goose droppings.
Instead of searching for suspected waterborne pathogens carried by Canada geese -- which laboratories in North America and England have done for the past two decades and which remain at best hypotheses -- we should change the way we look at wildlife conflicts. We should search for the true pathogens at the root of our crimes against nature: too many people, too many cities, too many cars, too many airplanes, too many factories, etc.
The one cure that will stave off the annihilation of what remains, as well as spare us from our own spiritual extinction, is to nurture what we have.
Jeffrey Kramer, Brooklyn
Editor's note: The writer is a member of GooseWatchNYC, a coalition of animal advocates dedicated to the protection of resident geese in the greater metropolitan area.