Friday, May 10, 2019

"We Care About the Wildlife"

"We care about the wildlife."

 Yesterday, Roxanne Delgado of the Bronx Animal Rights Electors met with several NYC Parks officials who are pushing the Parks Commissioner to sign the proposed Wildlife Feeding Ban.

Ms. Delgado worked very hard doing research, investigations, interviews and gathering documents, articles and photos in order to demonstrate and prove why the feeding ban must be rejected.

During her point by point, half-hour presentation, not one question was raised to her.

Ms. Delgado was anticipating an active, engaged dialogue.  Instead, she received stone faces and nary a word in comment apart from robotic and candy-coated assurances that, "We care about the wildlife."

 Well, let's take a brief look on how NYC Parks "care about wildlife."

 * NYC Parks are routinely doused with fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides and rodenticides.  Nut, fruit and seed-bearing trees and flora are removed and replaced by ornamental and non-native foliage that provide little food sources for birds and squirrels.

* Since 2009, more than 6,000 resident Canada geese have been rounded up from city parks and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and either gassed or slaughtered. Those geese still surviving in city parks have been subjected to nearly year-round harassment by Geese Police, as well as egg and nest destruction.
It is not exaggeration to call such programs, "Management to zero" (which is apparently, the intended goal).

*  Last summer, hundreds of raccoons died in Central Park (and other city parks), virtually wiping out the population.  Parks claimed Canine Distemper killed a number of the raccoons that were tested.  But did it kill all?  How did a virus kill so many animals living in different locations and even different parks?  Raccoons normally don't travel far from home territories. Few questions were asked by the press and even fewer answered.

 *  One of the jobs of Urban Park Rangers is to provide rescue for injured or ailing park wildlife.  Park Officials claim the rangers are "well trained" for rescues.  However, they are not well equipped.
Park Rangers are neither equipped with nets nor boats. Most times, they show up with a cat carrier which does not aid in capturing wildlife either from the water or on land.  On the other hand, Geese Police DOES have boats in order to harass geese and other birds on water. 
No boats for rescue. But boats for harassment and forcing out.  What does that say about "caring for wildlife?"

*  Park Rangers also claim they have "no access" to the Jackie Onassis Reservoir for waterfowl rescues. And yet, the Reservoir is a major resting point for thousands of migratory water birds passing through NYC twice a year, as well as a wintering spot for hundreds of migratory ducks and geese from December through March. During bad winters, these migratory birds (which are supposed to be protected by federal law) are left to starve to death when the Reservoir and park lakes freeze over more than 90%.

* NYC parks not only allow, but encourage so-called, "Catch and Release" fishing.  Fishermen routinely throw slices of white bread in the water in order to lure fish -- the same white bread that NYC parks now want to criminalize empathetic people for tossing to a hungry duck. But if bread is so "bad" for wildlife, why is it any healthier when tossed by a fisherman?
Fishermen routinely and carelessly discard fishing line around parks and lakes posing injury and sometimes loss of limbs or even death to waterfowl.
One Central Park goose lost a foot to fishing line several years ago, another goose with fishing bobble around beak, lost her life when Rangers were unable to rescue her and a mallard nearly lost his leg. Some years back, a duckling at Turtle Pond was caught on the end of a fishing hook horrifying onlookers and another time, a turtle was caught at Harlem Meer and the fisherman ( a kid) didn't know how to get it off the hook.
But not only is the fishing destructive to wildlife in general, but also to the fish, many of whom suffer mouth injuries before finally  being tossed back in the water -- after pictures are taken.

*  Many parks allow BBQ's which leave parks littered with trash and chicken bones and which in turn attract rats -- which bird feeders are then blamed for.

*  Some parks (especially, Central Park) routinely put on fireworks displays for occasions such as classical music concerts and marathons, in addition to holidays.  The fireworks terrify park wildlife and send hundreds of birds flying out.

These are just some of the many (destructive) ways NYC Parks "care about wildlife."

Truth is, wildlife is an inconvenience to City Parks which prioritize all manner of human activity, money-making enterprises and entertainment over biodiversity, nature and wildlife.

And it is exactly this same lack of biodiversity, altering of habitats, destruction of food sources, deliberate killings and heavy use of pesticides/insecticides that is "pushing/forcing wildlife out" globally, causing more than a million plant and animals species to now face extinction.

Push and "discourage" wildlife from NYC parks and where is it supposed to go?  Someone's back yard? Or the same place much of the world's wildlife is going? --  Nowhere?

Yes, NYC parks "care about wildlife."

 They care about it being gone.

And the proposed feeding ban if passed, will be the final nail in the coffin for NYC park wildlife.

Remove, replace and destroy natural food sources and then criminalize the alternate food sources as provided by human support.

 "Management" to zero - - exactly what the UN report warned against.