Public comments for: Prohibition on Feeding Wildlife in Parks

Comments

Comment:
I am in favor of this new regulation. I spend quite a bit of time in that park and it pains me to see the animals fed food that is meant for humans and it not good for them. It hurts our ecosystem, it hurts the animals and it offers a bounty to the rats living in the park and the boat basin. Please adopt this new rule.
Agency: DPR
Comment:
From: Nancy Tognan, Vice President, Queens County Bird Club I am opposed to the proposed rule as it pertains to feeding seeds, suet, and fruit to birds. Feeding of birds is an enjoyable activity that I and many people engage in at home. It is nice to see woodland birds within twenty feet of my window. However, many New Yorkers do not have a backyard and enjoy feeding the birds in the parks. The choice of feeding materials matters. Bread is not good for birds, but seeds and fruit are. I would encourage a public education campaign to have people provide good food to birds and refrain from using bread. I think most people would not wish to harm birds or adversely affect the water quality in our ponds. Some people have set up suet and seed feeders that are healthful and do not create a mess. Both the National Audubon Society and the American Bird Conservancy have expressed views that feeding seed to birds is not harmful. Feeders are mentioned in the American Birding Association’s code of ethics. Re: rats. You need to focus on those parks in which rats are a problem, not every part of every park in New York City. Again, you need a public education campaign to encourage people to clean up their food garbage, until you are able to trap and remove the rats. It would probably be helpful for NYC Parks to empty the garbage cans at such sites more frequently. A sledgehammer will certainly kill a fly. But is it the tool of choice to remove a fly from your home’s plaster walls? Like the sledgehammer, your law against all bird feeding is too broad, overly damaging, and not the correct tool to use. Thank you for your attention in this matter.
Agency: DPR
Comment:
I am long term resident of the Upper West Side (UWS) and a member of the UWS Neighborhood Naturalists, a group of like minded people who monitor and advocate for biodiversity within our community. We strive to help educate and inform our neighbors about biodiversity and communicate Neighborhood biodiversity concerns to local government. I have read the proposed new park rules which, if enacted, would ban the feeding of squirrels and birds within New York City parks. I have read the goals of the new rules and for the most part suppprt them. I do, however, have a strong concern about the new rules and would like to express that concern here. As an avid bird watcher, I enjoy bird watching in Central Park, as well as many of the other city parks. I would like to advocate that the bird feeders set up in Evodia Field in Central Park, as well as the bird feeders set up in other New York City parks, be permitted to remain even if an overall ban on feeding birds is enacted. The presence of the bird feeders in Central Park, long standing, and sanctioned by the Parks Department, provide important functions within our community. The feeders provide food for birds, largely during winter months, when the supply of natural food is scarce. The bird feeders are enjoyed by hundreds of park users (not just avid bird watchers) who enjoy watching the birds. Many of these people spend the better part of the day there watching the birds. Further, the bird feeders are used by local schools and teachers who bring their students there to teach the students abour birds and the overall environment. The bird feeders are tended and financed by local bird watchers who provide correct, healthy food for the birds. The bird feeders are located in a confined area and have not resulted in an increase in the population of rats or resulted in an increase burden on park employees. Considering all of the positives that the bird feeders provide, I strongly urge that the bird feeders in Central Park, as well as those in other NYC parks, be permitted to remain if the proposed new park rules are enacted. Respectfully submitted, Kevin Sisco UWS Neighborhood Naturalist
Agency: DPR
Comment:
In theory I'm supportive of this change. To avoid the rats yes and also to stop the wildlife from becoming too tame. As sadly there are always people out there who will then cause injury to them. But If this rule passes, could something be included to allow people or rescue groups to help the domestic birds that are dumped there. There must be something the rangers can do to aid in the rescue of these animals, which would maybe help reduce people trying to feed them. I've seen a rise in domestic birds dumped in the park lately, so there should also be a rule in place to deal with this. And if there are people out there who are willing to help, seems like a win win situation.
Agency: DPR
Comment:
As a graduate student at a New York State university researching 2 species of imperiled birds which rely on the fragile natural areas of NYC, I strongly support this proposed rule. Banning the feeding of animals in parks, most of which are non-native species, will have rippling positive affects on the native wildlife of NYC. Species like rats, raccoons and cats, all of which benefit from feeding by humans, also act as predators, causing harm to native wildlife populations. This proposed rule has the potential to reduce the negative affects these species have on native NYC wildlife.
Agency: DPR
Comment:
I am against the proposed ban on feeding wildlife. Please see the file I have uploaded which contains facts about animals and disease.
Supporting Document:
Agency: DPR
Comment:
As a researcher that has been studying saltmarsh and seaside sparrows in New York City Parks since 2012, I strongly support the proposed rule. Both sparrow species are restricted to the salt marshes of the United States, and the saltmarsh sparrow in particular nests only between Virginia and Maine. The saltmarsh sparrow is in grave danger of extinction due to loss of habitat. Non-native predators such as rats increase their peril greatly in the few urban areas where the sparrow has managed to hold on, which includes New York City Parks properties. Reducing wildlife feeding in NYC Parks will help reduce predator populations and improve the chances for these and other imperiled native wildlife.
Agency: DPR
Comment:
I strongly support the proposed rule. There are many opportunities to interact with and appreciate wildlife in NYC that do not involve direct feeding. Wildlife in NYC do not need supplemental food sources and do not need to be "taken care of" by those that engage in regular or sporadic feeding. As a trained rodentologist I recognize that anthropogenic food resources provided by animal feeding can and do contribute to increased local rat populations. Feeding of wildlife almost always leads to excess and uneaten food items that can be easily foraged by rats. Rats also learn from their environments, so may be more likely to visit and inhabit areas where feeding occurs, thus increasing the potential for zoonotic transmission of disease. This rule is long overdue and will help create a more sustainable relationship between citizens and urban wildlife.
Agency: DPR
Comment:
I strongly support this rule and its intention. I am resident of the city who cares deeply about its ecology and its wildlife and recognize the detrimental effects that feeding waterfowl, feral cats, raccoons, and squirrels in the park can have on widlife as a whole. However, I would also request an exception to be made for approved, maintained bird feeding stations in locations such as Central Park and Prospect Park during the winter. Bird watching can draw as many 500 birders to Central Park on a single day (see link below), with much activity surrounding the feeders. http://www.nycaudubon.org/manhattan-birding/central-park Thanks again for proposing this important rule. I appreciate it and its intention.
Agency: DPR
Comment:
I agree with these rules. As a naturalist and educator, I visit parks and other green areas (state land, cemeteries, botanical gardens) around the city regularly (in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, & Staten Island). As much as well-meaning people like the idea of feeding wildlife, it's generally a bad idea. Feeding junk food to waterfowl and encouraging invasive feral cat populations with feeding stations are enormous problems. Unfortunately, tradition, ignorance, and, in the case of fans of feral cats, something akin to fanaticism, continue. So, YES to regulations that cover "feeding all animals" and yes to ENFORCEMENT of these regulations in the future.
Agency: DPR

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