Tags: wildlife

City Nature Challenge Provides A Snapshot of Urban Biodiversity

The pigeon was found in all participating cities. This observation is from Far Rockaway in Queens. (source: iNaturalist)

In April 2017, sixteen U.S. cities participated in the City Nature Challenge (CNC). For this multi-day event, urban residents competed to observe the most species in their city, at the same time collecting data that conveys a snapshot of the local biodiversity.

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NYC Parks is Mapping Raptor Nests in Freshkills Park and Beyond

Photo by Daniel Avila, NYC Parks.

In 2016, NYC Parks created a Wildlife Unit in response to the city’s rising wildlife population and the challenges they present—more than 600 native wildlife species currently call our city home. The unit serves as an informed resource for citizens and policymakers, and aims to create a future where urban animals are an understood and appreciated part of the city.

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Wetland Restoration Monitoring

Staff and interns collect data at the North Park Wetland Restoration site.

In mid-August, Freshkills Park staff and interns conducted the annual monitoring of the North Park Wetland Restoration. Each year we record how the native plants are doing, whether any invasive plant species are coming back in, and what kinds of wildlife are using the restored site.

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Secret Lives of City Vermin

Ask people to name an animal that lives in New York City, and chances are they’ll pick one of the following: Rats, pigeons, or cockroaches.

And they’ll probably have some horror stories to tell about them.

Now, we could go on and on here at the Freshkills Park office about how there are thousands of different animal species living within the boundaries of NYC, including many that are rare, but today we’d like to take a minute to highlight some aspects of those lesser-loved, often only known for their traits that are in conflict with human society, animals that call NYC home.

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Thinking Outside the Bird Box

Freshkills Park will soon launch a digital app that will tweet photos of birds like tree swallows and house wrens from inside their bird boxes at the Park. This project will broadcast the ongoing ecological restoration of the Park, create new potentials in the field of scientific research, and highlight a research project investigating the health of the Park’s cavity nesting birds.

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Why Did the Turtle Cross the Road?

Every June, New York’s native turtles migrate in search of sandy areas to lay their eggs. According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), thousands of turtles are killed each year when they are struck by vehicles as they move to their nesting areas.

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Panel Discussion: Re-envisioning Post-Industrial Public Landscapes

Freshkills Park’s Manager for Science & Research Development Dr. Cait Field will participate in a panel discussion at Rutgers University on Wednesday, April 27th. Called Re-envisioning Post-Industrial Public Landscapes, the discussion will include panelists from Freshkills Park and Liberty State Park in Jersey City.

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Freshkills Park, Fifteen Years after Landfill Closure

 

Fifteen years ago this week, the final barge of household garbage arrived at Fresh Kills Landfill. To celebrate this milestone, the website’s new interactive landfill-to-park timeline illustrates almost 100 years of changes in the area.

The last barge to Fresh Kills marked the end of 53 years of landfill operations.

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Birds Count: Winter 2016

On President’s Day weekend, millions of birds were recorded as part of the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). According to the New York Times, this was the 19th year that both amateur and expert ornithologists worldwide have contributed bird sightings to this citizen science project, run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society and Bird Studies of Canada.

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Saw Mill Creek and the First NYC Wetlands Mitigation Bank

New York City is in the process of creating its first wetland mitigation bank in the marshlands surrounding Saw Mill Creek on Staten Island.  Saw Mill Creek, a tributary to Prall’s Creek and the Arthur Kill, is encircled by the largest expanse of remaining salt marsh along Staten Island’s west shore. 

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Swainson’s Hawk Sighting at East Mound

Photo: Seth Wollney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Researchers found a rare Swainson’s hawk at Freshkills Park’s East Mound on Tuesday morning. Dr. Richard Veit of The College of Staten Island described the hawk as a western North American grasslands specialist bird.

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What We’re Thankful For

Freshkills Park has a lot to be thankful for. In honor of Thanksgiving, we would like to express our gratitude to:

DSNY for their partnership on this great project.

Park Manager Bonnie Williams and her wonderful crew for caring for those sections of Freshkills Park already built.

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Highlights from BioBlitz! at Freshkills Park

 

On August 29th and 30th, Freshkills Park teamed up with CUNY Macaulay Honors College to conduct a BioBlitz of North Park. A BioBlitz is a 24-hr biological survey event aimed at developing a snapshot of as much biodiversity as possible in a given area at a particular time of year.

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Tweeting Bird Boxes at Freshkills Park

Freshkills Park is developing a unique digital app that will broadcast the ongoing ecological restoration of the Park and create new potentials in the field of scientific research. The launch of the app will highlight a research project investigating the health of the Park’s cavity nesting birds like tree swallows and house wrens.

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Rare Grasshopper Sparrow Discovered at Freshkills Park

The grasslands of East Park.

Most visitors to Freshkills Park usually get excited when they see the ospreys in their nest, or a bald eagle fly by, or a red-tailed hawk overhead… but scientists and bird enthusiasts are most excited about all of the grasslands within the park.

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Farther Afield: Mahim Nature Park in Mumbai

Over the past several decades, there has been a steady decline – paired with an increased consolidation – of landfills within the United States. This is due, in part, to a number of federal legislation that revised and updated the operational practices and permitted locations of municipal waste disposal.

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From Behind the Mounds: Bald Eagle Spotted at North Mound

Freshkills Park has already seen a vigorous return of wildlife. White-tailed deer roam the grasslands, turtles nest in the salt marsh, osprey swoop over Main Creek, and muskrats leave tracks through the wetland. Now Freshkills Park can add another species to the list: bald eagle.

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Spring Migration

Bird watchers on a tour of Freshkills Park

A flash of yellow flutters among the upper branches as the students below point out the never-still yellow warbler to one another. Spring migration is here. During this precious time, a winged kaleidoscope of colors and patterns drop down from the sky.

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When wild things are in cities

Monk Parrots in NYC (photo courtesy of Andrew Baksh)

The number of people who choose to live in cities is on the rise, with 80% of the US population living in urban areas as of the 2010 census. While living in cities like New York reduces our individual environmental impact, it also causes the displacement of wildlife.

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Snowy Owl Sighted at Freshkills!

Snowy owl sighted on the north mound of Freshkills Park (the location of our annual Sneak Peak). Photo by NYC Director of Landfill Engineering Ted Nabavi

The snowy owl, a bird made increasingly famous by its role as Hedwig in the Harry Potter movies, was spotted at Freshkills Park last week.

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