Central Park’s BioBlitz Brings the Critters out of Hiding

Written By Olivia Smedley | September 04, 2013
2019%2f09%2f13%2f12%2f25%2f59%2f1ac76ac8 2f85 4e54 ba88 d81f54a83574%2ffile

In a city full of crowds, commuters, and stress, Central Park is a necessary sanctuary for those looking to take a break from the everyday hustle and bustle of Manhattan. You could expect to find joggers, sunbathers, and dog walkers in the park at any given time, but pups aren’t the only creatures roaming around. Besides the unusual pets that can be hidden in a Manhattan apartments, the park is home to hundreds of species of wild plants and animals. 

This past Monday, the Central Park Conservancy started their second expedition to identify all the different species of living things that call the 843-acre stretch of land home. The first census took place in 2003 where scientists identified 10 types of mammals, more than 50 types of birds, 11 types of fish, and 200 types of plants and countless types of insects. Not only is the city becoming increasingly pet friendly, but it is home to wildlife that the average New Yorker is probably oblivious to. 

A team of 500 scientists and students from The City University of New York armed with nets, cages, magnifying lenses, and google glasses headed out on what they call the BioBlitz. Students were broken into small groups led by scientists and assigned to survey different areas at different times so that every nook and cranny of the park was accounted for. A mandatory event for all sophomores in the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, even students of art and accounting got to experience the biodiversity of the park. 

To classify fish, they isolated them in nets, recorded the information, and released them back into their homes. Turtles were dealt with similarly, caught in cages before being sent back to the wild. Recording devices were used to attract bats in the middle of the night, when they were most likely to be found. 

The director of programs for the conservancy, Terri Carta, wants to show people that the park is much more than just a place to take a morning run. “I would love for people to realize how wild the park is,” she told the Wall Street Journal, “The park is a landscape, a work of art, and it’s alive”. 

The 24 hour hunt was prompted due to the fact that the number of visitors to the park has increased 60% since 2003. The Conservancy wants to know what kind of effect the growing number of park-goers has had on the wildlife. Another factor is the extreme weather the city has experienced in recent years, including Hurricane Sandy, which could also have had an impact on the number of animals in the park. 

The findings of the project would be used to decipher just how the park has been managed in the past decade. Results will also be used for public lecture, class curriculum, and other conversations within the science world.

Blog Archive


This information is not verified for authenticity or accuracy and is not guaranteed and may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. © 2021 REBNY Listing Service, Inc. All rights reserved. RLS IDX Data display by Elegran LLC. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non- commercial use and that it may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.

Elegran LLC may or may not be the exclusive listing agent of the properties being displayed on Elegran.com. All data displayed on Elegran.com is presented for informational purposes only and should be independently confirmed by all customers. All Information is compiled from both public and private sources including, but not limited to the RLS, MLS and ACRIS; each of which is assumed to be reliable. All information displayed is subject to errors and omissions regarding apartment specifications and final sale prices, and further, any unit listed may have had its listing withdrawn without notice subsequent to such information being compiled. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description (ie: listing, close sale data, and/or building description) of any building or individual unit. All measurements and square footage are approximate and all information herein should be confirmed by customer and/or their attorney. Elegran LLC, its members, affiliates, and contributors adhere to New Your City, New York State, and United States Fair Housing Laws.