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Port Authority Killed Over 20,000 Animals Over The Past Two Years

The agency killed everything from the endangered northern harrier to muskrats to a parakeet over the past two years in the name of airline safety.

Posted on March 3, 2014, at 8:18 p.m. ET

The Port Authority is responsible for the killing of 20,000 animals over two years, including threatened and endangered species, the New York Post reports.

Carlo Allegri / Reuters / Reuters

Animal rights groups, including Friends Of Animals and Goose Watch NYC, have been angered by news of the report.

According to Goose Watch NYC founder David Karopkin, "[The Port Authority] take a kill-first approach" and that there's "no incentive to take a long-term look at this issue. Killing is a way for them to pat themselves on the shoulder and say they're protecting people."

The issue of wildlife management gained a higher profile after the 2009 crash landing of a US Airways flight on the Hudson River, piloted by Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, was caused by Canada geese stalling the engine.

Port Authority representative Ron Marisco said the agency kills animals that “pose immediate threats to aviation safety and do not respond to nonlethal harassment" and also claimed that 95% of wildlife control is non-lethal.

Here are some statistics on the animals the Port Authority killed in the past two years:

11 ospreys (marked as "Of special concern" by the report.)


Marisco said that the agency has a permit to kill the osprey because they "posed immediate threats to aviation safety and did not respond to nonlethal harassment."

3 American kestrels (marked as "threatened" by the report.)

Geoff Kuchera/Geoff Kuchera

1 northern harrier (labeled as "endangered" by the report.)


5,729 laughing gulls.


3,203 European starlings.


2,445 herring gulls.


1,908 mourning doves.

Kenneth Keifer/Kenneth Keifer

1,070 brown-headed cowbirds.


997 Canada geese.


82 eastern cottontail rabbits.


62 woodchucks.


44 muskrats.


11 white-tailed deer.


11 coyotes.


5 snowy owls.


Friends Of Animals sued the U.S. Department Of Agriculture over the Port Authorities killing of snowy owls.

4 red foxes.


1 monk parakeet.


Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals stated: "A parakeet? The idea that parakeets would bring down an aircraft is ridiculous. This gives you an idea of how trigger-happy [the PA] are."

The Port Authority is trigger happy. Killing these animals demonstrates sidestepping of humane methods and mindless reliance on lethal force. Either they're lying or not trying hard enough. Tax dollars are just paying for an endless killing cycle. When wildlife is killed, more animals move in for available resources. Effective wildlife management is based on a simple rule: get rid of the food, make the environment unattractive, and the animals will move on. Non-lethal works and is long-term effective.

You can read the whole list here.