Wildlife, Fish, and Marine Life Newsletter

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC Delivers - Information to keep you connected and informed from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Share or view as a web page || Update preferences or unsubscribe

Wildlife, Fish & Marine Life Newsletter

Help Protect New York's Bat Populations During Bat Week

BatBat Week is a an internationally recognized weeklong focus to raise awareness about the important role bats play in our environment and is a great time to appreciate New York’s nine bat species. Bat Week is observed October 24 through 31 and is organized by representatives from conservation groups and government agencies in the United States and Canada.

Unfortunately, many species of bats, including little brown bats, have faced severe population declines due to white-nose syndrome. The disease has killed more than 90 percent of bats at hibernation sites in New York.

You can help protect New York's bat populations by avoiding caves and mines, which may be home to hibernating bats, from October through April. Human disturbances are very harmful to bats. White-nose syndrome makes bats very sensitive to disturbances. Even a single, seemingly quiet visit can kill bats that would otherwise survive the winter. If you see hibernating bats, assume you are doing harm and leave immediately.

Anyone entering a northern long-eared bat hibernation site from October 1 through April 30, the typical period of hibernation for bats, may be subject to prosecution.

Some bat facts:

  • They are insect-eating machines, eating thousands of mosquitoes and other flying insects in a single night!
  • Bats use echolocation (rapid pulses of sound that bounce off an object) to detect and catch insects.
  • Bats are more closely related to primates than to mice.
  • They are the only mammal that can fly.

Learn more about bats in Bats of New York State (PDF).

Photo by Al Hicks.

Drivers Urged to Be Alert for Moose in the Adirondacks

Moose in waterEarly fall is the breeding season for moose in northern New York. During this time moose are wandering looking for mates, leading them to areas where they are not typically seen. While this improves the opportunities for people to enjoy sightings of moose, it also increases the danger of colliding with one on the roadway.

Moose are most active at dawn and dusk, which are times of poor visibility. Moose are especially difficult to see at night because of their dark brown to black coloring and their height—which puts their head and much of their body above vehicle headlights.

Take the following precautions to prevent moose-vehicle collisions:

  • Use caution when driving at dawn or dusk, especially during October—reduce your speed, stay alert, and watch the roadsides.
  • Slow down when approaching moose standing near the roadside, as they may bolt at the last minute when a car comes closer.
  • Moose may travel in pairs or small groups, so if a moose is spotted crossing the road, be alert for others that may follow.
  • If a moose does run in front of your vehicle, brake firmly but do not swerve. Swerving can cause a vehicle-vehicle collision or cause the vehicle to hit a fixed object such as a tree or pole.
  • If a moose is hit and killed by a vehicle, the motorist should not remove the animal unless a permit is obtained from the investigating officer at the scene of the crash.

Photo by Steve Spudie.

DEC to Discuss Managing Wildlife on Perch River Wildlife Management Area

View at Perch River WMA.DEC will host a virtual public presentation to share details about a recently completed habitat management plan for Perch River Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

The event will feature a 60-minute presentation that discusses the WMA’s history, habitat goals, and planned management actions, followed by a question and answer period. This presentation will also be recorded and made available to the public afterward.

Sign up for the online presentation by visiting the Perch River WMA webpage where a link to the online registration can be found at the top of the page. Questions can be typed into the chat box during the presentation, or questions can be sent via email. Please contact Erik Latremore at (315) 785-6457 with any specific requests for accommodations.

View what activities you can do at this property by clicking on the link above.

The NYS Birding Trail Takes Flight

Two people sitting in a tree watching for birds with binoculars DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the launch of the new NYS Birding Trail to highlight world-class birding opportunities across the state. Birding or birdwatching is one of the fastest-growing recreation and tourism activities and requires little to no experience or equipment to get started.

The New York State Birding Trail provides information on places anyone can go to find birds amid beautiful natural settings across the state. The trail is not a physically connected or built trail but a network of promoted birding locations that can be accessed by car or public transportation and provides an inclusive experience for all.

New York City is the first region to be announced, with future announcements expected over the next year.

Learn about other places to watch wildlife near you and some of DEC’s watchable wildlife tips. 

Thank you to our partners NYC Parks, NYS Parks, and National Park Service (Gateway Recreation Area).