STATEN ISLAND, NY – Turkey seems to be ubiquitous in Staten Island – and we’re not talking about those on our Thanksgiving tables.
Wild turkeys are found on Staten Island It’s nothing new. Despite attempts by local officials to rid the island of them, the island’s flock appears to grow in ever-increasing numbers.
At first, they were held in Mid-Island, which was found primarily near Staten Island University, South Beach psychiatric hospitals, and the surrounding neighborhood. In recent years, birds have been spotted in Silver Lake, Mariners Harbor, Westerly, Willowbrook, and other neighborhoods across town.
Readers catch Turkey on camera
We recently asked Staten Islanders where they caught the most wild turkeys, and this is what they had to say:
Lincoln Street in Grant City
One of the readers said that Al-Nasr Street and Al-Murabbak Road impede traffic.
– “A huge clan of 15 in Silver Lake Park,” he said Luis Alonzo in Facebook.
Kloof Lakes Park
Ludwig Street, New Brighton
Howard Street, Grace Hill
Wooley Street, Willowbrook
– Near Planet Fitness, Forest Avenue in West Brighton
Pament Street, West Brighton
-Forest Hill Road in Richmond Hill Road, New Springville
Arlo Road, Grace Hill
Hamden Street, Grant City
Mill Road and Ebbets Street, New Dorp
Officials continue to work on a plan
Councilman David Carr (R-Mid Island) said he is committed to working with the state to find a solution to the wild turkey situation.
“We are committed to working together to address the quality-of-life issues that have arisen with the increase in invasive turkey numbers, and we will collaborate with my colleagues and other stakeholders in developing a long-term strategy,” Carr said previously.
Wild birds were previously removed to Hove & Hoof Animal Sanctuary in upstate New York, but relocation efforts were suspended in October 2019. Because the state was concerned that the refuge could not keep turkeys on its propertyHe said the site would need to install an enclosure or clip the wings of the turkeys annually so they couldn’t fly. In addition, the shelter would need to expand by 12 acres to add space for the additional turkeys — the number has grown to more than 200.
The coronavirus pandemic hit shortly thereafter, and the state severed ties with the sanctuary.
Since then, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has taken a different stance on how to handle the town’s birds, saying it does not believe capturing and relocating wildlife is a viable long-term solution.
A DEC spokesperson previously told Advance/SILive.com: “DEC is committed to working with Councilman Carr and other district officials, along with affected communities, and looks forward to providing assistance to New York City as it develops a long-term management strategy to address the wild turkey population in Staten Island”.
Can we cooperate with wild turkey?
David Karopkin, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, consultant and wildlife advocate, said he believes the turkeys belong in Staten Island — they are part of the town’s ecosystem and have thrived.
“I look at this through a broader lens of how do we co-exist with the wildlife around us? How do we address the issues caused by wildlife being in such close proximity to humans?” he said.
Like the state, Karopkin said he believes relocating the turkeys is not the best option, because unless every turkey is caught, the birds will always be present on Staten Island.
So, the goal should not be to learn how to mitigate these situations and conflicts [people have with the wild turkeys] To solve it as best you can and learn to live with it? Karopkin asked.