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  • Writer's pictureSara Kross

In the news: Our work on wildlife in NYC

Three people smiling at the camera in a cemetery
Myles Davis, Laura Plimpton and Richie Konowal in The Green-Wood Cemetary in Brooklyn as part of our wildlife ecology work

Our work on understanding wildlife ecology in NYC was covered by Kevin Krajick in the State of the Planet Blog. "Scientists Are Mapping New York City Wildlife. And We Don’t Mean Rats, Squirrels or Pigeons." Read more here

On Laura Plimpton's raccoon tracking work: "On the laptop, zigzagging lines lain over a local map showed some raccoons ranging only within the cemetery; she called these “cemetery raccoons.” One made the same nightly straight-line pilgrimage from one end of the cemetery to the other, for reasons unknown. Other raccoons embarked on regular expeditions a block or two out into surrounding neighborhoods, undoubtedly looking for food. Plimpton called these “urban raccoons.” Some seemed to like variety, and explored different places on different nights. But at least one could be seen sticking to a tight pattern along the same few blocks each night. “Raccoons do the weirdest things,” she said."

And on Myles Davis' masters thesis work developing the NYC UWIN transect: "Davis’s part consists of 40 camera traps he periodically sets out along a 50-kilometer transect of green spaces spanning Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island’s Nassau County. His main quarry: medium-size mammals, or so-called mesocarnivores, such as raccoons and possums. Another grad student is trapping animals, taking biological samples and fitting animals with radio collars to track their movements. Others are studying ticks and mosquitoes along the transect, to chart how they might interact with mammal hosts to spread Lyme disease or other ailments. Bird counts and surveys of humans regarding their encounters with wildlife are planned."

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