Tags: grasslands

As Birds Face Threats from Climate Change, Freshkills Park Could Be a Refuge

Climate Change

Dr. Richard Veit first saw grasshopper sparrows nesting at Freshkills Park in 2015. This was a surprising discovery for Veit, a College of Staten Island researcher who has been studying the site’s grassland bird populations for decades. According to the Breeding Bird Survey, grasshopper sparrow populations have declined by 97% in New York State.

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Background Noise Study Results

Grassland Sound Study

This summer Freshkills Park staff and interns partnered with the NYC Parks Wildlife Unit to evaluate differences in ambient noise levels between two areas of the park. To track the noise levels, sound recorders were placed at corresponding locations on North and East Mounds.

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Exploring Background Noise Levels

A new research project is being developed at Freshkills, and it’s a noisy one. Staff and interns will partner with members of the NYC Parks Wildlife Unit to place sound meters around the park to compare ambient noise levels between two areas.

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Environmental Science Intern: Caitlyn Simon

Caitlyn Simon

Caitlyn Simon is an Environmental Science Intern for Freshkills Park. She was born and raised in NYC and lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn when she is not attending Amherst College in Massachusetts. She is a rising senior double-majoring in Environmental Studies and Geology.

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Third Year of Grassland Research Begins

Grassland Research

The closure of the Fresh Kills Landfill and the planting of native grasses atop the landfill cap has led to hundreds of acres of new grasslands. This offers the unusual chance to see a nascent ecosystem take shape, bringing its value as a specialized habitat with environmental benefits to the forefront.

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2017 Christmas Bird Count Results

Christmas Bird Count 2017

The 2017 Christmas Bird Count took place in Staten Island on Saturday, December 16. As part of this yearly tradition, Staten Islanders spread across the Island to count as many different species as possible. This year there was a myriad of species found within Freshkills Park and across the Island.

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Grassland Research Continues at Freshkills Park

Grassland Research

With the decline of grassland habitat, less than 1% of original grasslands remain in the Northeast. Meanwhile, the mounds of the Fresh Kills Landfill have been covered by a cap and seeded with native plants, and the engineered grasslands at Freshkills Park are providing vital habitat to many bird species dependent upon them.

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2016 Christmas Bird Count Results from Freshkills Park

Short-eared Owl - Shayna Marchese

The 2016 Staten Island Christmas Bird Count took place on Sunday, December 17th. During this yearly event, Staten Island birders spread out in teams to take count of all the birds present at the time. This year, there was a nice showing of different species both on the Island and in Freshkills Park.

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Freshkills Park Provides Habitat for Grassland Birds

Grasslands Sunset

At a time when grasslands have drastically declined across the country, the reclaimed land at Freshkills Park is providing a habitat for grassland bird species.

Because grasslands are favored for agricultural production, they have largely been converted into cropland and pastures.

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