Friday, September 5, 2008

Off-Leash and Rat Poison, Part II

An email sent yesterday to Glenn Phillips, executive director of New York City Audubon, with a copy to a Daily News reporter:
I am writing you to ask your assistance with a very serious, time sensitive issue. According to a recent article in a local newspaper, the Department of Parks & Recreation is either planning to use or already using rat poison in Prospect Park:

I'm sure you are aware that there have been instances in the past when poisoned rats inadvertantly killed Red-tailed Hawks in Central Park. I was under the impression that the DoPR had changed their policy towards the use of rodenticides. If the article is correct, then there is the very real danger that the "Hawk Migration Celebration" in Prospect Park will become a raptor funeral. The area in question is along the north-south stretch of woods that is frequented by the local hawk family. It is also about 250 yards from the nest they've used for 6 years and about 600 yards from the nature center.

The New York City Audubon Society has a history of working with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation to resolve various conservation issues. It is extremely important that something be done quickly to assure that the resident Red-tailed Hawks, as well as, the many others that have begun migrating through the city parks are protected from poison-laced prey.

Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter,


Again, the most appalling thing about this episode is not that the DOPR is putting down rat poison in an area frequented by migrating hawks. That is appalling enough, but absent more it could be attributed to the bureaucratic incompetence and stupidity that seem to pervade the DOPR’s upper ranks, here a mistaken belief that these rats somehow present a pressing public health problem. But that’s not why they’re doing it. The most appalling thing is that the DOPR is putting down rat poison so that a few dogs and their owners can have a good time, and the consequences be damned.

UPDATE: from a correspondent:
I believe it is illegal under state law to place any rodenticide near water. Usually restrictions say that poison must be at placed least 50 feet away from water lines. The Dept, of Parks should know this since they are the ones up to their heads in beauracratic regulations. I hope they are not bending over backwards to appease their friends at FIDO. Besides, how DO THEY know it's rats spreading germs? Could one or more other dogs be carriers of disease ? Stop blaming other things.
The correspondent is right on: as we blogged on June 5, a sign at the Binghamton University nature preserve says that domestic dogs may not bathe in the lake because “dogs’ feces add bacteria and parasites to the water that local wildlife drinks.”


Surreal947 said...

Rob's letter is reasonable and non-insulting.

CREDO'S additions are inflamatory and unnecessary.

Rats are problematic in urban areas, including parks. Blaming dog owners for DOPR's decision to use poison is unfair and unnecessary.

Finding a way to solve the problem of rats without endangering dogs and birds is a responible approach and "responsible" is part of your name.

No one wants birds injured or killed, including us dog owners.

credo-ny said...

That there are rats in the parks does not make them a problem. Central Park has plenty of rats too, but they are not poisoned because of the harm that would result to other wildlife, including birds.

Before commenting, you might try reading what your are commenting on. See our previous post; it was the Brooklyn Paper that reported that the DOPR was putting down poison because of complaints by dog owners.

surreal947 said...

Quite the contrary: rats are poisoned all the time in Central Park.

While walking with friends there, I noticed little flags all over the place (yellow,red, etc.) about 9 inches off the ground.

When we passed a park's gardener, I asked if something was being built since they looked like surveyor marks. I was told that the gardeners use them to identify rat holes so poison can be poured into them.

The flags are everywhere.

Maybe they use a different poison or seal the holes. I do not know. But they definitely treat against rats.

Rats are problems in urban parks since they can easily cross streets into buildings.