Being a lover of all things goose-like, I devoured last week’s cover article (“Honk if You’re Destroying an Ecosystem,” 5/19). Amy Longsworth did a fine job of showing the devastation of flora by fauna introduced into an ecosystem. And, with the help of Charles Steck’s detailed photographs, I will be quite capable of oiling a goose egg, should the need arise. I do feel that Ms. Longsworth missed a few key points, however.
First, the introduction of Giant Canada Geese violates one of the prime rules of ecological engineering: Never introduce any creature into an ecosystem with the word “giant” in its name. The same rule applies if the species name contains the words “spitting,” “grizzly,” or “plague.”
Second, kudos should have been given to those involved for finding a living creature, from somewhere as close as Canada, that would willingly live in Anacostia.
Third, the author states that geese produce almost as much feces as a human being; however, she never indicates whether or not this is a good thing or a bad thing. Do the geese defecate too much or should we, as a species, defecate more?
Fourth, according to the article, even oiling 95 percent of goose eggs will only reduce Anacostia’s goose population by 25 percent in 10 years. Does this mean that those who oil the eggs only do it because they enjoy it? What are the moral implications of such a hobby?
Finally, the anecdote about the golfer knocking a goose silly was incomplete. Did the golfer exclaim that he had gotten “a birdie”? If not, was this due to the golfer’s inability to think on his feet or simply because the pun was too trite?