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Fish and Wildlife Species Restorations

During the last half century there have been several major success stories of wildlife restoration in New York. These include among others the woodduck, and wild turkey (70 kb pdf) which were either at very low levels or absent from New York and now are common. Others include the bald eagle, which was recently downlisted from endangered to threatened in NY, and the peregrine falcon which has been returned to many areas of NY. Other efforts, such as the attempted restoration of lynx in conjunction with SUNY in the 1980's, have not resulted in successful restoration.

There are currently active restoration efforts ongoing for river otter in Western New York and the bog turtle in the Hudson Valley. In addition, we are currently working with the lake sturgeon, round whitefish, and paddlefish (see the February 2000 issue of The Conservationist for more on paddlefish restoration).

At the current time, there are proposals from private organizations to restore the wolf to the Adirondacks (biological feasibility study now available) and elk to the southern tier of New York. There are ongoing studies to determine if either of these proposals are biologically feasible and socially acceptable. In response to interest in moose several years ago, the Department proposed speeding the return of moose to Northern New York. While biologically feasible, there was not adequate public support for an active restoration program and so the moose is being allowed to return naturally (see the February 2000 issue of The Conservationist for more on the status of moose in New York).

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