Wildlife Respect and Safety

Recent newsletter from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Feb., 2018):

Help Keep Wildlife Safe While Viewing

Winter is a great time to get outdoors and observe birds and other wildlife. Some species of birds spend their summers in the tundra and their winters in New York. Unfortunately, some birders, in their enthusiasm to photograph the birds up close, may approach the birds and flush them – cause them to fly. This can deplete the birds’ energy reserves, and in extreme cases, can cause death. It is better to observe wildlife in a manner that is safe for both you and wildlife.

Some ways to respect wildlife and others around you:

  • view wildlife from a distance using binoculars
  • stay on trails
  • only enter private property if you have permission
  • park in designated spots or completely off the road, out of travel lanes

Check out more wildlife watching tips and find more information in a press release regarding observing winter raptors safely.

DEC Conducts Final Year of Three-Year Northern New York Fisher Study

The New York State Fisher Management Plan (PDF, 2.3 MB) includes non-invasive camera trap surveys for fishers (Martes pennanti) in northern New York. These surveys have occurred the last two years, with this winter being the third and final field season. The data from the camera surveys along with information collected by trappers will provide a thorough data set which will be used to help guide management of the species.

Nearly 200 “camera trap” sites are scattered throughout the Adirondack park and adjoining Wildlife Management Units on state and private property. A trail camera is placed at each site, with bait to attract fisher. Cameras remain up for 21 days in hopes of catching a photo of the elusive critter.



5 thoughts on “Wildlife Respect and Safety

  1. Thanks, yes it is good to be reminded to be non-invasive and respectful wildlife watchers. I did not know about ongoing trapping of fishers and martens. Do the traps injure or maim their victims or confine them to be killed later? And are the animals trapped for their fur?

    • All good questions. Over the last 100 years farm abandonment has led to an increase in forestland. This, in turn, has favored the return of the forest-dwelling fisher throughout its original range. In some areas their numbers are high and they can be legally trapped for their fur. The State is collecting the baseline data needed to better manage the species. The 2 primary sources of information are animal carcasses collected during the trapping season (which provide sex, age, size and health data) and photographic data collected from motion-triggered “trail” cameras set up over bait stations (data on presence/absence, population trends, etc.).

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