Birds were blamed after the Hudson plane crash eight years ago. Since then, the officials tried to clear the skies by killing as many as possible. According to the statistics, the NYC bird-killing program has led to the deaths of roughly 70,000 geese, starlings, gulls and many other birds.
Trapping and shooting are the two methods used by the authorities to make the skies apparently safer. However, many conservationists are outraged because many birds will continue to die due to this program.
Based on the latest reports, it looks like this initiative has been quite inefficient because the number of bird strikes involving the three NYC major airports has increased since 2009. A median of around 158 strikes every year was recorded in the five years prior to the accident in two of the three airports.
Nevertheless, after the accident, a median of 299 strikes per year was recorded in the next six years. Also, the number of strikes went up around the Kennedy Airport too. Conservationists stress that officials and authorities should find other ways to make the skies safer.
They believe that the officials can find a way to protect the airplanes without killing so many birds. According to Jeffrey Kramer, a conservationist at GooseWatch NYC, there is already a reliable solution which doesn’t imply killing gulls and geese.
More precisely, improved radar systems can easily detect flocks which might become problematic. The authorities in charge with the bird-killing initiative claim that flying is safer now. They add that no other major crash occurred since 2009 involving bird strikes.
Based on the latest report, out of the total 70k birds killed since the Hudson plane crash, 28,000 were seagulls, roughly 16,800 European starlings, approximately 6,000 brown-headed cowbirds, and around 4,5000 mourning doves.
The last on the death list are the Canada geese with 1,830 specimens killed. The experts underline that although bird strikes are quite common in New York, more serious incidents are very rare.
Also, these incidents most often involve larger species. Around 35,000 European starlings were slain at other three airports over the past few years, but just one bird was actually involved in one strike that damaged an airplane.
In other words, the statistics have shown that this bird-killing program represents an extreme measure which should be at least reconsidered.