Most people do not associate New York City with wildlife.That is unfortunate, because New York City is home to many wild species, including various rare (raptors, waterfowl, Redtail Hawks, loons, owls, turtles, amphibians), endangered (Piping Clover) and threatened (Peregrine Falcons) species.
Not understanding our natural wildlife heritage can lead to negatively reacting to wildlife encounters. Rather than grabbing a camera to take advantage of these rare moments, some people think that any wildlife contact requires the animal to be relocated or exterminated. Others think it is okay to interact with wildlife by touching the animals, removing them from their environment, trying to make it a pet or feeding it. None of these actions are appropriate, as they can be harmful to you and the animal. Humans and animals can coexist peacefully in an urban environment, but this requires greater understanding on our part. There are many things you can do to prevent wildlife from becoming a problem.
ACC field services only responds to wildlife calls for the following reasons:
- The animal represents a significant risk to humans, or has bitten a human;
- The animal is sick, injured or trapped and is on the federal endangered species list; or
- Specific request for help from appropriate governmental agency;
For helpful ways to address wildlife concerns, please look at these websites to better understand how to safeguard yourself and your family while protecting the indigenous wildlife in New York City.
If you find an injured animal that needs help, locate a NYS licensed wildlife rehabilitator or call 311.
If you were bitten or exposed to a rabies vector species including bats or raccoons, contact NYC Department of Health.
If you have a problem with pigeons, seagulls, squirrels or raccoons, contact the Department of Environmental Conservation at 718.482.4922 for assistance, or visit them online here.
If you have a wild animal in your home, contact a private wildlife removal service.
Reports of beached, sick or stranded marine animals such as seals, turtles, dolphins and whales should be referred to the Riverhead Foundation at 631.369.9829, or visit them here.
For rescue of injured swans that are out of the water, contact the Department of Environmental Conservation at 718.482.4922 for assistance, or visit them online here. You may also contact the Coast Guard for assistance.