Who doesn’t love baby animals? Across the state, cute little critters are appearing everywhere - trails, parks, and maybe even your backyard. Remember not to get too close or touch a baby animal. It is most likely scared of you and has a (bigger) parent nearby. It's also important not to disturb their habitat.
As you watch out for wildlife, keep in mind that New York is home to many endangered species. May 18 is Endangered Species Day, a perfect time to acknowledge that our state has almost 100 threatened and endangered species, from butterflies to bats, each with their own specific concerns.
For example, as pollinators, butterflies and bees face threats, ranging from pesticides to paved over habitat. Pollinators play a critical role in our ecosystem. Our flower and food crops depend on them. But butterfly, bee, and bat populations are declining. One of the best things you can do is to embrace the dandelions in your yard and put down that weed repellent. New York's endangered Karner Blue Butterfly will thank you!
Other endangered pollinators in New York State are bats, including the threatened Northern Long-eared Bat. This species has been decimated by loss of forest habitat and white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease. If you suffer from mosquito bites, you understand the importance of protecting bats. These winged mammals can eat more than their weight in mosquitoes every night!
New York's wildlife is critical to our healthy ecosystems. When amphibians, like the endangered Tiger Salamander, are disappearing from our streams, we know the quality and health of our waters are also declining.
By caring for our environment, we will save our state's many threatened and endangered species. Click here to check out the full list!
Here are just a few baby animals you may experience throughout New York State:
Baby barn swallows saying their first 'chirps' at John Boyd Thacher State Park.
Could this 'bee' any more adorable? Baby honey bees are hatching from their hives this spring.
Tiny hands holding a tiny box turtle at Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve.
Baby mallards at Corning Preserve bike-hike trail.
Baby American bison calf, Madison, born May 9, 2019 at her home at the Rosamund Gifford zoo in Onondaga.
We checked in with our Parks & Trails New York staff and asked them what their favorite baby animal is (whether native to our state or not!):
Robin Dropkin, Executive Director: Snapping turtle
Sarah Braymer, Parks Program Director: Sea otter
Lisa Pepe, Parks Program Coordinator: Black bear
Dylan Carey, Trails Program Director: Beaver/owl
Jonathan Duda, Administrative/Communication Coordinator: Penguin
Anne Russell Gregory, Director of Development: African wild dog
Margaret McGivern, Director of Administrative Services: Panda