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Wildlife Fact:

The feathered tufts on the top of the long eared owls’ head are not horns or ears, but feathers that are used to communicate and help the bird blend into its surroundings.


Conserve Wildlife applies for Carbon Sequestration and Restoration Grant

Since 2008, CWF has been committed to helping to restore a former golf course in lower Cape May County. This fall they have submitted a grant to help fund more reforestation activities on site and to calculate the amount of carbon dioxide that is captured by the trees that are planted.

September 16, 2010

Image of A former fairway at "Ponderlodge" which is now named Villas WMA and is part of Cape Island WMA.A former fairway at "Ponderlodge" which is now named Villas WMA and is part of Cape Island WMA. © Ben Wurst

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF) is helping to restore habitat for migratory birds in one of the best birding regions in the world, Cape May, New Jersey. We are working with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, to reforest fairways and create habitat to encourage wildlife, and wildlife watching at a former golf course called "Ponderlodge." During the spring and fall the Cape May Peninsula, at the southern tip of New Jersey, plays an essential role in providing habitat for wildlife to rest and refuel. Each year, millions of migrating songbirds, raptors, and shorebirds are funneled into the Lower Peninsula during fall migration.

Fairways to Forests!

This important stopover site on the Cape May Peninsula was purchased by New Jersey's Green Acres Program in February 2006 and it is now managed by the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife (NJDFW). As its name suggests, this property was a functioning golf course just prior to being purchased for open space. After being purchased, it was instantly prized by residents and outdoor enthusiasts for its size, location, and recreational opportunities. However, in its current state, the 253-acre site has limited value to wildlife because of the low-quality habitat left behind from the golf course operations. Remnants of the golf course, including a lodge, a burnt down mansion, paved trails, and many ponds and sand traps remain.

Image of Blue tree tubes stick out in an old fairway that was planted with "bare root" seedlings in 2009.Zoom+ Blue tree tubes stick out in an old fairway that was planted with "bare root" seedlings in 2009. © Ben Wurst

To help with its acquisition, biologists with NJDFW created a "draft" habitat restoration plan for the site. We have used this plan to help guide our efforts at Ponderlodge to enhance the site to benefit wildlife, especially migratory birds. Since acquisition, CWF has worked with NJDFW to restore and reforest approximately 5 acres and enhance 12 acres of native warm season grasses. We have funding to create a "Backyard Habitat Demonstration Site" which we hope will help educate local residents on the importance of using native species that provide habitat for migratory birds by providing food and cover.

Forested habitat on site is fragmented with little understory vegetation. Forests provide critical habitat for migratory birds for use as stopover habitat and for nesting. Restoration of these forests will also increase the minimum patch size requirements to provide suitable habitat for several species of endangered and threatened birds, including the red-shouldered hawk, Cooper's hawk, and barred owl. Endangered amphibian species, like the eastern tiger salamander and southern gray treefrog, that utilize ponds with adjacent forests will also benefit from this project.

While our focus has primarily been on the restoration of wildlife habitat, we also realize that our reforestation efforts are capturing carbon from the atmosphere. We are applying for the Carbon Sequestration and Restoration Small Grant from Conservation Resources Inc. to help restore habitat and to help calculate the amount of carbon that is being captured from our reforestation efforts at "Ponderlodge." If awarded this grant CWF will plant trees in March of 2011.

Learn more:

Contact Us:

Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager: Email

Find Related Info: Habitat Restoration

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