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Discovering the Wild Side of New York: A Journey Through the City’s Secret Wildlife Havens

Find out why New York is a unique city in terms of biodiversity.

biodiversity and wildlife in central park new york

According to some estimates, cities will grow by 30% in the next decade. It may seem like a hostile environment to animal life, but cities are a new world full of opportunities for species that know how to adapt.

If you are interested in this topic, you should check out the documentary series Planet Earth II produced by the BBC. One of the episodes is about cities and the challenges animals have to face in order to survive.

One of the urban environments filmed in the series is New York (here is my 5-day travel guide). Although the city is densely populated, many animals have no problem living among its skyscrapers. One of their favourite places is Central Park, the city’s green lung and the most visited urban park in the world. Every year, it’s chosen by more than 40 million people.

Central Park is the perfect place to jog, have a short boat trip, or enjoy its meadows with a picnic.

What animals live in Central Park?

central park wildlife

Few people know New York is home to the largest concentration of Peregrine Falcons in the world, and they seem to feel at home among the skyscrapers. It’s easy for these birds to find suitable places to nest. Moreover, they can easily spot their prey from the top of the skyscrapers. The peregrine falcon can reach an incredible speed of 390 Km/h and is considered the fastest animal globally.
In addition to the peregrine falcon, you can find many other species of animals.

In 2008, more than 250 scientists conducted research, and within 24 hours, they surveyed all the animal and plant species they saw. 836 different species of animals and plants were identified: 393 plants, 102 invertebrates, 78 moths, 10 spiders, 9 dragonflies, 7 mammals, 2 frogs, and 2 tardigrades (microscopic living beings).

In addition, 46 species of birds were identified (though there are certainly more at different times of the year). And this is only in 24 hours. The data collected are, therefore, partial, but they make us think about the opportunities that even modern cities such as New York can offer to wildlife.

Over the years, some species have disappeared from Central Park (like the Cottontail Rabbit) while others have been reintroduced (like the Virginia opossum). Central Park is constantly evolving, but it’s also a very delicate environment.

Wildlife in New York

falco pellegrino new york

I took this picture while I was visiting New York. It is not difficult to see hawks and other birds nesting in the tall buildings of the City

New York is one of the most visited cities in the world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find biodiversity.

As cities grow, it will be increasingly important to follow the pattern set by cities such as New York or Singapore, cities that have been able to grow while taking into consideration the importance of protecting nature.

wildlife in new york

Here, you can find an article about wildlife conservation in China.

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