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Posts Tagged ‘human impact’

In addition to Pale Male and peregrine falcons, there are lots of other large birds in and around New York City. One particularly interesting story is the osprey comeback.

The plan from the New York Osprey Initiative's website

Once upon a time, there were osprey all over New York City. But loss of habitat and pesticides decimated their population. They are returning… slowly. To help the osprey, the New York Osprey Initiative is planning to build two new osprey nests – one in Sunset Park and the other on Governor’s Island, where it will be maintained by the New York Harbor School. The eventual nests will include built in web-cameras to track the birds and solar power to keep the cameras working.

The return of the osprey is a sign that the New York Harbor’s health is improving, with clean water and sufficient fish for them to live. This is also a chance for humans to show that our impact on the environment can be positive as well as negative.

For more information, check out the website of the New York Osprey Initiative. To learn more about osprey, the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation has lots of great information. And, if you live in Queens, you can find many more osprey at Alley Pond Environmental Center.

We can’t wait to see beautiful osprey flying around New York Harbor in greater numbers very soon!

Ospreys Fern Ridge Reservoir Oregon

Osprey built a nest on this human-made platform in Oregon

PS: If you are looking for a field trip to learn more about animals coming back to New York City, check out the program Critter Comebacks here at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. We explore human impact on their environment and the adaptations animals have made to an urban environment, including information about salt marshes, hermit crabs, and peregrine falcons. For more information, go the the Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s school programs website.

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You probably already teach about animals and their habitats – why should you teach about insects in particular?

Insects and other small animals are a key part in any food chain, a subject your students will study in 4th grade science. Knowing about them and having respect for insects now will help them better appreciate insects’ importance later.

If you are interested in a great game that combines food chains with human impact on the environment, check out the game Deadly Links in an educational guide produced by the Girl Scouts (scroll to page 18). This role play examines the relationship between three animals (mosquito, fish, eagle) and what happens when human beings try to get rid of the mosquitoes. Deadly Links is appropriate for grades 4+ in its current form, but could easily be adapted for younger students.

Little kids might not be ready to learn about food chains, but they're always welcome to come to Brooklyn Children's Museum and build an insect of their own!

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