USDA Wildlife Services has continued killing geese in our local and state parks with a death toll of over 1,200 in 2014. The killing season for 2015 is now well underway. Most of this is being carried out under an interlocal agreement whose members include Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Renton and others. Washington State Parks is the most recent member.
After hiring Wildlife Services in 2013 to kill geese at Lake Sammamish State Park, Washington State Parks stated it had no plans to kill geese in 2014 in any of our state parks. However, in 2014, they once again paid to have geese killed at Lake Sammamish and Deception Pass state parks.
In addition to inhumanely killing geese, Wildlife Services has an apparent recordkeeping problem. In a report to members of the interlocal agreement, Wildlife Services stated that it killed 1,213 geese in King County in 2014. However, it could only provide a detailed report with the date, location and method of killing for 19 geese. Where, when and how were the other 1,194 geese killed? One has to question, why is there such a discrepancy?
When asked about the number of Canada Geese in the areas covered by the agreement, Wildlife Services’ response was, “No records exist that estimates the number of geese in the areas covered by the agreement in 2014.”
Although Wildlife Services is required to keep detailed records, they have no idea of how many geese exist in the area and almost no records concerning the killing.
Interlocal agreement members need to stop the killing and implement a management plan that includes proven humane measures. Also, they need to be held accountable for accepting obvious omissions and inaccuracies in the recordkeeping and reporting provided by Wildlife Services.