More Mallard Studies For Gerry Pond Park


Last year, the Town of North Hempstead approved a resolution that would allow the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to enter Gerry Pond Park in order to trap and band mallards. The purpose? The data collected from the band returns, town officials said, would be used to “measure annual mortality, migration patterns and hunting harvest rates and result in an evaluation of management options.”
Last month, the town finally approved an agreement with the NYSDEC to continue to pursue mallard banding at the park.
The vote follows a trend. It coincides with The Atlantic Flyway Mallard Migration Project, one designed to address the phenomenon of mallards “slowly disappearing” from wetlands throughout the northeast and parts of Canada.
According to published reports, up to 22 U.S. governmental agencies and conversation groups are involved in the study. New York state, including little Roslyn, is key since it is home to the largest population of nesting mallards in the so-called Atlantic Flyway, a stretch of land that encompasses a migratory route from Florida to Maine.
Researchers are using modern technology to see what these lovable mammals are up to. According to published reports, biologists are attaching GPS transmitters to up to 1,200 mallards to track their flight patterns.
The solar-powered transmitters contain a GPS chip that records a mallard’s location every hour, then sends that information twice a day to researchers via cell phone towers.
“You can see exactly what marsh, what wetland all these birds are on,” said John Coluccy of Ducks Unlimited. “They travel great distances and use different habitats across time and space, and this technology allows us to dive into that a little bit more.”
Researchers also claim that it is habitat loss and “degradation due to urbanization and climate change” and not hunters, that are behind a diminished mallard presence in the Northeast.
“A lot of these birds regardless of weather still generally made it back to the same places where they were originally marked, or pretty dang close,” said Nate Huck, a waterfowl specialist for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. “There was very little movement southbound in the January timeframe.”
Roslyn remains an idyllic oasis of nature amidst urban sprawl. That should keep Roslyn space for such mammals. Gerry Park wouldn’t be the same without these colorful birds.
In other news, the board adopted a motion to hold a hearing for Sterling Astoria LLC for a special use permit for the premises located at 114 Northern Blvd., Greenvale.
The proposed action is the construction of a 1,325 sq. ft. one-story, drive-through coffee shop on a 19,560 sq. ft. parcel with associated improvements to drainage, lighting, and landscaping.
The board adopted a resolution to approve a public hearing concerning a public ordinance affecting Chestnut Street in Greenvale. The ordinance would establish a school zone speed limit on not just Chestnut Street, but also Walnut and Locust Street in that village.
Finally, the board adopted a resolution approving the action of the Albertson Hook & Ladder Co. 1 in adding Paul Roadel, Thaqif Kamaruszaman, Kevin Jimenez and Alexander Jimenez to membership and removing Xie I. Zha from membership.
—Information provided by Steve Featherstone

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