To Doug Blonsky Feb 20, 2011

March 3, 2011

First of all I would not have posted this if I had a timely response from the CP Conservancy for my letter on Feb 20th.
When the person described the incident to me I asked him many anxious questions and I warned him that the action was illegal. I never had the impression that it was an event or else the man would have certainly told me that. I asked him what reason the woman had for picking up the hawk and he didn't know. When next I see I'll ask him if what he saw had anything to do with a scheduled release.

Whether this was a release event or not, what was a Conservancy worker doing handling this wild animal. An animal which suffered some trauma and which was rehabilitated and is now being released back in the wild should have a minimum of handling. Why is it being given to a lay person for releasing which can only increase the animal's chances of additional injury?

On another point; why is the Central Park Conservancy encouraging the release of raptors in the Ramble when you continue to poison their food supply by having rodenticide baiting stations at the edge of the Ramble at the Boathouse parking lot?

With all the tree cutting activity in Central Park, including the Ramble, what wildlife supervision is there when crews are working in these sensitive areas?



Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2011 15:39:20 -0500
Subject: Hawk Inquiry

To: Lincoln S Karim

Date: March 2, 2011

RE: Hawk Inquiry

Dear Mr Karim:

Thank you for your letter of February 20th, 2011. We fully understand your concern about the welfare of wildlife, including the hawks, in Central Park. Because your letter has no reference to a specific incident date, we are assuming that you might be referring to the release of rehabilitated juvenile hawks that occurred on Monday, February 14th in the Ramble area. One of our staff members did participate in the release, under the supervision of two licensed wildlife rehabilitators and an Urban Park Ranger.

This release took place out in the open and was covered by the New York Times.
We donít believe that there was any tampering or parading, as referenced in your letter. Our staff is trained to summon the proper authorities if there is any issue pertaining to wildlife in the Park, and they would not tamper with any wildlife for entertainment purposes.

Please contact me if you have any further concerns or questions.


Neil Calvanese.

Vice President for Operations


February 20, 2011

Douglas Blonsky
Central Park Conservancy,
14 E. 60th Street
New York NY 10022

Dear Mr Blonsky,

I received a report today that a CP Conservancy worker was handling a juvenile Red tailed hawk in the Ramble sometime last week. The person who told me about it thought I would be happy to hear this and had no idea that what his colleague was doing was illegal. The CPC worker was said to be female and she held the hawk by its legs for a considerable time while she allowed tourists to take pictures of it and paraded around the Ramble with the animal clutched in her hands. After she was done she threw the hawk up into the air and it flew off. I was told that the CPC worker had no other reason for tampering with the hawk except for entertainment purposes.

I would like you to investigate this incident and to bring this person up for disciplinary action both by the CPC and by the DEC Law Enforcement whom I have copied in this communication to you.

Please inform all your staff that the park's wildlife are not to be tampered with by anyone except by licensed personnel when there is good reason for doing so. Also instruct all your staff in the proper legal procedures for handling any situation where human intervention may be necessary.

I would prefer not to reveal the name of my informant presently, but if necessary I will reveal him if I am forced to intervene in this matter.
Please give this matter your earliest attention.


CP President:

NYS DEC Region 2: