Urban Park Rangers
Rockaway Beach Endangered Species Nesting Area (RBESNA)
The piping plover (Charadrius melodus) is a small, plump shorebird that breeds on Atlantic beaches from Newfoundland to Virginia, as well as on inland beaches from eastern Alberta and Nebraska east to the shores of Lake Ontario. In 1986 the piping plover was federally designated as endangered on the Great Lakes and threatened on the Atlantic Coast.
The plover nests on Rockaway Beach in Queens, and the breeding area includes the beach between B45th and B56th Streets. Over the last few seasons, "satellite" sites have been established both to the east and the west of this main site.
The Urban Park Rangers monitor the plovers on Rockaway Beach according to the guidelines provided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Nests are observed at least three times a week, and records are kept regarding the number of plovers observed, the number of nesting pairs and the number of eggs in a clutch. Observations are usually made from afar using binoculars and spotting scopes so as not to disturb the nesting plovers.
Wildlife Research & Habitat Enhancement Permits
Anyone wishing to conduct research on wildlife in city parks, including but not limited to: monitoring using anything other than portable, hand-held or simple free-standing equipment; trapping and/or releasing animals including invertebrates; entering closed or limited-access areas; or collecting water or soil samples; or anyone wishing to enhance wildlife habitat in city parks, including but not limited to the installation of nest boxes, MUST apply for a permit from the Department of Parks & Recreation Urban Park Rangers. This permit is in addition to any permits required by Federal and/or State Agencies with jurisdiction over the wildlife being studied, and also any other Department of Parks & Recreation permits from other Offices or Divisions.
For more information on how to apply for a permit, please contact Shalini Beath at 212-360-2774 or by e-mail using the Rangers contact form.