WildlifeNYC Introduces New Yorkers to Urban Fauna

October 21, 2016

Mayor’s Office, NYC Parks, NYPD, DOT, and DOHMH collaborate on citywide education and awareness campaign on the wildest New Yorkers

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the launch of WildlifeNYC, a citywide education and awareness campaign teaching New Yorkers how to live safely and responsibly alongside wild animals including deer, raccoons, and coyotes. A collaboration the Mayor’s Office, NYC Parks, the New York City Police Department, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, WildlifeNYC’s multifaceted outreach includes:

  • Print and Out of Home media campaigns reminding New Yorkers that city dwellers take many forms. The campaign includes billboards, posters, and street pole banners throughout the city, with a particular focus on active wildlife areas, including Staten Island and the Bronx.
  • A new web portal where users can report a wildlife sighting, learn about the wild species with whom we share our city, and get up-to-date information about the City’s latest wildlife initiatives.
  • An integrated deer impact management plan to address the impact of deer on Staten Island.

“Recent sightings of deer, coyotes and other unexpected animals make it clear that New York City can be a wild place. WildlifeNYC’s emphasis on education, outreach, and humane population control will help all New Yorkers care for our urban environment – and the animals who share it with us,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“It’s important to understand your neighbors – even the feathered and furry ones. WildlifeNYC gives us a collaborative framework work to educate New Yorkers about living safely alongside wildlife, and humane approaches to address wildlife impacts on our communities,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP

"DOT is happy to work with our sister agencies on the WildlifeNYC public-awareness campaign” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.  "To stay safe and to prevent dangerous collisions with animals on our roadways, drivers need to do their part by following the speed limit and avoiding distractions."

“New Yorkers who live in the less built up parts of the city may not have to leave the five boroughs to experience wildlife,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “WildlifeNYC encourages New Yorkers to appreciate and respect the animals we live with. New Yorkers should call 311 if they are concerned about animals in their neighborhood.”

One of WildlifeNYC’s core efforts is the City’s integrated deer impact management program for Staten Island.  The white-tailed deer population on Staten Island threatens to spread of tick-borne illnesses, cause vehicle collisions, and do damage to trees and native plants, the City has developed a multi-pronged plan to address. To address these negative impacts, WildlifeNYC’s deer management effort includes:

  • Public education about living safely with deer
  • Traffic safety measures to reduce deer-vehicle collisions
  • Planting deer-resistant plants to discourage feeding and fencing to protect native forests
  • Humane sterilization of male deer in partnership with the non-profit group White Buffalo, Inc. To date, 299 males have been sterilized.

To learn more about WildlifeNYC, visit nyc.gov/wildlife.

“With the recent explosion of deer population on Staten Island, the WildlifeNYC program is truly a benefit to Staten Islanders. Public education and preventative safety measures can only make our residents safer and for that, I applaud this effort,” said Assembly Member Ron Castorina, Jr.

“Though New York City is most often thought of as an urban metropolis, it’s critical to remember that the City is also home to a substantial wildlife population,” said Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the Parks Committee. “Through outreach and education, WildlifeNYC will ensure that New Yorkers have the information they need to understand the challenges and impacts of wildlife on our neighborhoods. Specifically, the WildlifeNYC web portal, and Staten Island deer impact management plan are innovative ways of addressing these issues. I applaud the Parks Department and Commissioner Silver for their leadership on this issue, and I am confident this program will thrive in years to come."

“Here on Staten Island, we are increasingly sharing our roads and yards with deer and other wild species. It is important that we learn to coexist safely, and that means taking a number of precautions to prevent collisions and the spread of disease. I hope this WildlifeNYC educational initiative reaches all of my constituents and helps protect the health and safety of us and our neighbors,” said Council Member Debi Rose.

pressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov

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