New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 26, 2020
Squirrels in a Sticky Situation
On May 14, ECO Kevin Wamsley received a call about a group of squirrels in distress in the hamlet of Verbank. The caller stated the squirrels appeared to have their tails tied together and could not move freely. ECO Wamsley responded to the location and discovered that the juvenile squirrel tails were stuck together with a mass of nest debris and a tar-like substance later determined to be pine pitch. The squirrels were struggling to free themselves from their siblings. ECO Wamsley captured the squirrels and began the meticulous task of freeing their tails. After some time and quite a bit of effort, ECO Wamsley was able to pull and cut away the nesting materials and free the squirrels one by one. All four squirrels were released on site.
Baby Hawk Falls from Nest
On May 15, a concerned resident in the town of Floyd contacted ECOs about a baby hawk on her property. ECO Robert Howe responded to the call and found a young hawk on the ground that appeared to have fallen from its nest in a nearby tree. A powerful thunderstorm with high winds had just passed through the area and was the likely cause of the bird being displaced from its nest. Officer Howe captured the bird and brought it to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. The young hawk will be cared for until it can be released back into the wild.
Fawns Rescued after Accident (Cattaraugus County)
On May 16, ECO JM Powers received a phone call from New York State Police about a doe struck by a car and killed on Route 16 in the town of Franklinville. The doe had two fawns that were still alive and onsite. ECO Powers responded and met with a trooper near the accident scene. ECO Powers secured the young fawns and immediately transported the pair to a nearby rehabilitation facility.
Abandoned Otter Kit
On May 17, a seasonal homeowner on Grenadier Island in the town of Cape Vincent contacted ECO Evan McFee reporting an abandoned river otter kit. The homeowner said the young otter was found the day before in a grassy area near his home and had been there for more than 24 hours. The homeowner kept a close watch on the otter and did not see other otters in the area. Due to the length of time the young otter had been left alone without food or water, ECO McFee decided to transport the otter to a wildlife rehabilitator. Under McFee’s direction, the homeowner used a plastic tote to transport the young otter and met the ECO at a marina in Cape Vincent. ECO McFee then brought the otter to a local wildlife rehabilitator. The otter kit was in good health and being evaluated to determine the next steps of rehabilitation.
ECO Assists with Injured Red-Tailed Hawk
On May 19, ECO George Scheer responded to a citizen’s call reporting an injured hawk on their property in the town of Somerset. Utilizing his Wildlife Response Training, ECO Scheer identified the species as a red-tailed hawk. The hawk appeared to have sustained an injury to its right wing. ECO Scheer and a local licensed wildlife rehabilitator secured the injured hawk so it could be safely transported to a veterinarian for proper care. The hawk will be cared for until it can be released back into the wild.
Injured Hawks Rehabilitated and Released
On May 22, two red-tailed hawks, recently rehabilitated, were released back into the wild in town of Olive. One hawk had lead poisoning and the other sustained a fractured ulna that was repaired surgically. Both hawks were rehabilitated by Missy Runyun of Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center. Over Memorial Day weekend, ECOs released the hawk that was poisoned on the same property where it was found in March. The other was released at Grant Avery Memorial Park.
On June 5, Environmental Conservation Officer Jason Powers received a report of a possible infant rare raptor that needed rehabilitation in the town of Allegany. ECO Powers immediately responded to the location of the bird. He successfully transported the raptor to a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Olean. The raptor was identified as a Kestrel falcon and will be cared for in the rehabilitation facility until it is ready for release back into the wild.
Illegal Shellfish Harvest
On May 21, ECOs Darren Milliron and Stephanie Anderson seized hundreds of shellfish from Jamaica Bay. The ECOs found more than 15 people harvesting shellfish along the shoreline during low tide. The waters of Jamaica Bay are uncertified by the Food and Drug Administration, making it illegal to harvest shellfish. ECOs Milliron and Anderson educated the individuals about the state’s Environmental Conservation Law and the various health hazards associated with eating these shellfish. The mussels, steamers, and hard clams were then seized and safely returned to the water.
On May 25, while patrolling Gateway National Park, ECOs Josh Jarecki and Brent McCarthy observed a large group of people taking shellfish in Jamaica Bay, an area that is not certified for shellfish harvest by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The ECOs determined the group was too large for two officers to round up effectively, so they contacted U.S. Park Police for assistance. ECOs Jarecki and McCarthy, along with federal officers, issued summonses to 36 people. More than 2,000 illegally harvested clams were returned to the water.
Wild Goose Chase
On May 25, while conducting fishing compliance checks in the Annsville Creek Preserve, ECO Daniel Franz observed a goose that appeared to be injured. After a closer look, ECO Franz discovered the goose’s feet were bound together by a tangle of string. He subdued the animal, cut away the string, and freed the goose back to the water. The ECO took this opportunity to educate users of the area of the importance of keeping the shore free of litter.
Double Fawn Rescue
On May 30, ECO Kevin Wamsley received a call about a white-tailed deer that had been struck and killed by a car on Route 312 in the town of South East. The deceased doe had two fawns that were seen lingering near the busy highway. ECO Wamsley began the search for the two orphaned fawns. Not long into his search, the ECO heard the fawns calling out and headed in their direction with a large net. The fawns began to make their way toward the highway, so ECO Wamsley headed them off and stopped traffic to prevent the pair from being hit while attempting to cross the road. The first fawn was captured and secured in a safe carrier. The second was caught soon after and reunited with its sibling. They were transferred to a licensed rehabilitator for care.