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Track NYC's Seasonal Wildlife with This New Interactive Map

By Shaye Weaver | May 18, 2017 7:42am
 A red-tailed hawk in Riverside Park.
A red-tailed hawk in Riverside Park.
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Jean Shum

NEW YORK CITY — Catching a glimpse of the city's elusive coyotes or spotting a whale is going to be much easier with the Parks Department's new interactive Urban Wildlife Calendar.

Launching Thursday, the new clickable online map and calendar pinpoints when and where New Yorkers can find some of the city's 600 species living among them.

Credit: nycgovparks.org

Users can search by location or month to see when the animals are at their most visible, according to the Parks Department.

The agency's wildlife experts pooled their knowledge to create an index within the map that details the behavior of each animal. For instance, bald eagle hatchlings take their first flights around Inwood Hill, Flushing Meadows-Corona and Conference House parks.

In May, painted turtles and Canada geese can be found in the northeastern corner of Central Park, nearest to East Harlem, as well as horseshoe crabs and white-tailed deer on Staten Island and in The Bronx.

In June, New Yorkers can expect to see American bullfrogs, bats and red-tailed hawks across the city in many parks.

The calendar can be used to see other animals like Virginia opossums, red foxes, seals, spotted salamanders, piping plovers and owls. More species will be added as time goes on, the Parks Department noted.

"With more than 600 species living in our city, there are plentiful opportunities to witness these magnificent animals in their element," Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said. "There's no need to leave New York City to see wildlife."

Parks officials do warn the public to be wary of the animals and to keep a safe distance. (The calendar says not to try to feed the coyotes, no matter how cute they are.)

And New Yorkers who come across animals can help the city keep track of their movements through its web portal.

The new map and calendar is part of the Parks Department's WildlifeNYC campaign, which was launched in October 2016 to spread awareness about wildlife in the city — specifically deer on Staten Island and The Bronx — so that animals and humans can peacefully coexist.