Osprey population soars with a little human help
Ospreys had a banner year in 2011. For the second year in a row, volunteers and biologists recorded over 600 young that were produced.
February 6, 2012
In 2011 we installed or moved 21 nesting platforms. In 2011 25 new pairs were observed, some nested on these new platforms. This year was another record setting year for ospreys in New Jersey. We recorded an average of 2.07 young per active nest, a new record. We last documented the size of population at 486 nesting pairs in 2009 when we conducted a statewide census with the Endangered and Nongame Species Program. We now believe that the state population has met recovery goals (of more than 500 nesting pairs) that were set after DDT and habitat loss decimated the population by upwards of 90%. We aren’t the only organization who has helped with the recovery of ospreys. We credit the hard work of biologists with the Endangered and Nongame Species Program from the 1970s to present who worked tirelessly to help the population rebound. Their egg transplant and nesting platform program played a huge part in the successful restoration of the osprey population to their historic population estimates. To name a few, former Deputy Chief of ENSP, Pete McLain; former Director of NJFW, Marty McHugh; former Chief of ENSP Larry Niles, current Chief of ENSP, Dave Jenkins; current Director of NJFW, Dave Chanda; and Supervising Zoologist Kathy Clark who has worked to protect ospreys over her entire 20+ year career with ENSP.
In 1973 no osprey young were produced on Barnegat Bay. In 2011, a total of 97 osprey young were produced there.
We can also credit the recovery efforts to local environmental and water-quality improvements, like the Barnegat Bay Initiative and restoration of the Meadowlands, and by the grass-roots efforts by concerned citizens and groups who have helped provide nesting platforms to accommodate their population growth.
For full results from the 2011 nesting season, read the 2011 Osprey Project Newsletter which summarizes the entire nesting season survey results. Thank you to all our volunteers for helping us to monitor and manage the state population of ospreys!
2011 New Jersey Osprey Project - 74.4KB
Follow along while Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ and two of his friends volunteer to help install an osprey platform off Long Beach Island on Barnegat Bay in 2010. Support our efforts to protect wildlife, make a donation today!
Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager: Email
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