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Eagles, Beavers, Sea Turtles: Why N.Y.C. Is Humming With Wildlifere

The New York Times: “…New York City is experiencing a surprising return of native wildlife, in numbers and diversity remarkable even to local ecologists and parks officials. “You are seeing miraculous occurrences of wildlife right in the middle of the city,” Mr. Benepe said. It would be easy to surmise that nature blossomed and the creatures came out during New York City’s lockdown last year. But wildlife needs habitat, and the animals’ return, according to Kathryn Heintz, the executive director of the NYC Audubon Society, is because of the city’s 40-year effort to expand and clean up its parks, rivers, forests and wetlands. This has included planting more trees, wildflowers and grasses that are native to the area, banning pesticides in parks and spending billions on converting former landfills and industrial wastelands into nature sanctuaries. New York is now “the greenest big city on earth,” Ms. Heintz said. But while parks officials say they are excited by these ecological breakthroughs, many cite concerns about the city’s relatively low parks budget, which they say poses a threat to natural habitats because of deteriorated drainage systems and understaffed maintenance crews…”

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