Vigilance Against Poachers

Yesterday, some bird poachers were interrupted in Prospect Park by Park Rangers and park staff. Earlier, one of the poachers actually walked through a group of birders with a caged American Goldfinch in one hand and a glue stick (used to trap birds, a variation on bird lime; very nasty stuff) in the other.

It’s illegal to kill, capture, trade, etc. migratory birds and bird parts, including feathers, nests, and eggs.

Also recently: several people were caught wet-handed stealing turtles from the park. Meanwhile, over in the BBG Wedding Venue, a patch of ramps, no easy thing to propagate, was raided. Ironically, the BBG has posted on foraging for ramps, when what they should have done is say onions and leeks and scallions are more than good enough for all you cooking needs.

What unites all these thefts from the natural commonwealth? Money, of course! One of the bird catchers evidently admitted he was paid to capture the bird for the other. The turtles were probably headed for the market. I know of five people whose “business model” is actually teaching people to forage in the city.

If you see such destructive greediness in the wild commons, call the Park Rangers 718-421-2021; Park Enforcement Patrol (less effective): 718-437-1350; and/or 311. Here are the numbers for NY state DEC’s Environmental Conservation Officers. If you’re elsewhere, put the local authorities on your phone.

5 Responses to “Vigilance Against Poachers”


  1. 1 Kathleen Matthews May 19, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Glad the goldfinch was set free but bummed the poachers got away. Still – hopefully they’ll be deterred from trying again. Thanks for publishing all these numbers and info!

  2. 2 Diane May 19, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Appreciate your publicity for illegal activity. I thought glue sticks were limited to Southern Europe but not here in NYC.

    • 3 mthew May 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      Another one of these damned sticks was found not so long ago in Prospect with a dead bird attached. The cruel devices are definitely here, unfortunately.

    • 4 mthew May 19, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      Another one of these damned sticks was found not so long ago in Prospect with a dead bird attached. These cruel devices are definitely here, unfortunately.

  3. 5 Beverly Seaton May 19, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Mthew, your recommendation of On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder, is the reason I can’t sleep recently; it is terrifying indeed. Thanks for the wake up.


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