BY ERIN YOON
While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed social circulation due to distancing, nature has vigorously maintained its pace throughout spring and into summer.
Human activity is the leading cause of pollution on our planet, and the reduction of it during the pandemic has had positive effects on the environment. All over the world, significant improvements in air quality and biodiversity have been reported. The Southeast has seen a notable decline in forest fires as a byproduct of quarantine, dolphins have returned to harbors in the Mediterranean due to decreased noise pollution, and percentages of carbon emissions have subsided.
Parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Queens have been affected in similar ways.
“This year, we’ve received increased wildlife sighting reports every month with the exception of April.” a spokesperson for NYC Parks told QNS.
Sightings of the American Oystercatcher, a shorebird native to the Atlantic Coast, have been reported commonly at Rockaway Beach. Oystercatcher chicks have fledged right on schedule, according to the Parks spokesperson.
During the pandemic, parks in Queens have been open for passive recreation. NYC Parks are now providing New Yorkers with diverse opportunities to connect with local wildlife at home. Additionally, NYC Parks updates their Wildlife Wednesday Series weekly, on their Instagram page, to offer educational and enjoyable experiences to the community.
The Parks spokesperson said city dwellers are encouraged to notify Wildlife NYC website of healthy wildlife observations.
“If you cross paths with wildlife in New York City, respect them the same way you would any other New Yorker, and give them plenty of space. Only call 911 to report wildlife sightings if there is a clear threat to public safety,” the spokesperson said.
Conservation and wildlife protection revolves around the central theme of maintaining. We, as New Yorkers, must contribute actively to prolong the bloom of wildlife across our local area.