Monday, June 10, 2013

A Dubious Competition -- Prospect Park or Central Park, the Worst Place for Wildlife?

Connor, Carol, Cochise and Connie. Four domestic ducks at Harlem Meer who have stayed at edge of grass at "protected" area near Dana Center since beginning of spring.  These birds rarely venture more than 30 or 40 feet from location and mostly stay out of water during spring "fishing."
Mama mallard and two surviving ducklings trying to catch brief respite yesterday before onslaught of human fishing activity at Harlem Meer.
 "When it rains, it pours."

No sooner had I written of the loss of beautiful and ever-trusting and cheerful Honker at Harlem Meer (in the aftermath of heavy fishing) then there are two reports from Brooklyn's Prospect Park of injured wildlife there due to discarded fishing tackle:

And a Cormorant:   Snapshots of Nature: Caught Up

The anemic response and denial of Prospect Park Alliance spokesman, Paul Nelson to the injured swans is unacceptable.

To say, "We have a long commitment to the education of future fishermen" is completely dismissive in the face of so much maiming, terrorizing and death to the wildlife of both, Central Park and Prospect Park due to careless and irresponsible over-fishing. 

The sheer volume of fishing alone at Harlem Meer has been enough this spring to send the one swan flying out of the park and the flightless (marooned) domestic ducks hiding in a corner ever since the first fishermen arrived almost three months ago.

One cannot help but wonder if these two parks are in some kind of macabre competition with each other for "The worst place in New York City for wildlife to try and survive?"

If so, Prospect Park takes the booby prize for that one, since in 2010, 368 of its resident Canada geese and goslings were rounded up by USDA and gassed.

Central Park "only" harasses geese and oils their eggs.

But, both parks are notorious for denial, neglect and endless excuses for the failures to both, enforce fishing rules as well as providing rescue and treatment for suffering wildlife injured as result of discarded fishing lines and hooks.

Granted, the rescue of a maimed wild cormorant is difficult as these birds are wary of humans and are quick and deep divers under the water.

But, the goal should be to prevent these injuries in the first place so that birds and other wildlife do not require rescue in the first place!

But, instead, these parks heavily promote and encourage fishing and in the case of Central Park, (The Dana Discovery Center) actually rents out fishing equipment.

But, there is virtually zero investment to the proper equipping of Park Rangers for wildlife rescue (as not only reported repeatedly in this blog, but also in the blog link above). 

To see Park Rangers show up to "rescue" large waterfowl with nothing more than a cat carrier is pathetic, if not laughable. Small fishing nets suitable for a pigeon don't do the job for a goose, swan or cormorant.

Despite the rosy claims of park spokespersons, the facts contradict them.

It is raining heavily in New York City today.

Sadly, it seems drenching downpours are the only real "break" wildlife gets in our parks during spring and summer from the otherwise, constant encroachments upon their spaces and the scourge of discarded fishing lines and hooks left carelessly in their water to maim everything from turtles, to swans, to ducks, to egrets, to geese to cormorants.

"Rain, rain, stay till the end of summer days."

With the winds of autumn and the icy snows of winter, will finally come an ironic peace. -- PCA


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