Conserve Wildlife Blog

November 26th, 2014

Giving Thanks!

Don DeRogatis volunteered to help us safely climb a 130' water tower at Bayside State Prison this summer. His reward was holding this nestling peregrine falcon, which will one day be flying at speeds upwards of 200mph! Thanks, Don!! © Ben Wurst

Don DeRogatis volunteered to help us safely climb a 130′ water tower at Bayside State Prison this summer. He was rewarded by holding this peregrine falcon nestling as we banded it for future tracking. Being able to say to you held the world’s fastest bird is definitely something to brag about! Thanks, Don!! © Ben Wurst

The success of Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ to manage and protect our rare wildlife depends greatly on our dedicated volunteers. Our volunteers construct and maintain osprey nesting platforms, perform road patrols to reduce terrapin road kills, count bats, install fencing to protect beach nesting birds, protect beaches for critically endangered shorebirds, and help amphibians cross roads safely on rainy nights. They also dedicate much time to watching bald eagle nests with the Bald Eagle Project. This past year they spent an amazing 3,500 hours monitoring eagle nests throughout the state of New Jersey!!  We wouldn’t be able to work with as many different species and accomplish all that we do without help from these dedicated volunteers. We’d also like to thank all of our members and donors for helping us complete our mission of “Keeping New Jersey’s Wildlife in our Future.”

From all of the staff at CWF, we hope you have a great Thanksgiving and a happy holiday season!

November 22nd, 2014

Help Northern Long-Eared Bats Become Listed as Endangered Species

Photo Credit: MacKenzie Hall

Photo Credit: MacKenzie Hall

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reopened the public comment period on a proposal to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Comments will be accepted through Thursday, December 18, 2014.

 

The public is invited to submit comments one of two ways:

(1)  Electronically:  Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov.  In the Search box, enter Docket No. FWS–R5–ES–2011–0024. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

(2)  By hard copy:  Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to:  Public Comments Processing, Attn:  FWS–R5–ES–2011–0024; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

During the previous comment period, from June 30 to August 29, 2014, USFWS received over 65,800 comments on this issue!

 

Why is it so important?

The Northern Long Eared Bat, like many other bat species in the United States, is in danger of extinction due to White-Nose Syndrome, impacts to hibernacula, summer habitat loss and wind farm operation. Listing a species as endangered, under the protections of the Act, increases the priority of the species for funds, grants, and recovery opportunities.

 

How Else Can You Help Protect Northern Long-Eared Bats?
These tips were pulled from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Northern Long-Eared Bat Fact Sheet:

  • Do Not Disturb Hibernating Bats
  • Leave Dead and Dying Trees Standing: Where possible and not a safety hazard, leave dead or dying trees on your property. Northern long-eared bats and many other animals use these trees.
  • Install a Bat Box: Dead and dying trees are usually not left standing, so trees suitable for roosting may be in short supply and bat boxes can provide additional roost sites.

 

Learn more:

 

November 21st, 2014

Atlantic City Electric Holds Avian Protection Educational Event

Details Measures Taken to Help Protect Wildlife and Improve Reliability

Photo Credit: Atlantic City Electric. Pictured left to right are Ben Wurst, wildlife biologist, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey; Ed Kaminski, senior supervising engineer, ACE; Cristina Frank, lead environmental scientist, ACE; and Mike Garrity, senior supervising scientist, ACE.

Photo Credit: Atlantic City Electric. Pictured left to right are Ben Wurst, wildlife biologist, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey; Ed Kaminski, senior supervising engineer, ACE; Cristina Frank, lead environmental scientist, ACE; and Mike Garrity, senior supervising scientist, ACE.

Atlantic City Electric (ACE), in collaboration with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, recently held an Avian Protection Educational Event to promote a better understanding of how Atlantic City Electric helps protect birds and other animals, while also helping improve electric service reliability for customers.

ACE environmental scientists Cristina Frank and Mike Garrity detailed the various types of migratory and breeding birds that may perch or nest on power lines, including ospreys, which frequently nest on utility poles. They discussed various types of devices placed on wires and other infrastructure designed to minimize the risk of birds and other wildlife from coming in contact with electric wires and equipment.

“Hundreds of thousands of birds migrate through Cape May County each year,” said Cristina Frank, lead environmental scientist, Atlantic City Electric and head of the company’s Avian Protection Program. “We conduct field studies to determine areas throughout Cape May County and our entire service territory to determine which areas are of the greatest risk to birds and other wildlife.”

ACE senior supervising engineer Ed Kaminski explained how avian protection is an integral part of the design phase before constructing any new infrastructure projects or upgrading existing infrastructure.

“We are in constant communication with our environmental team, and, when necessary, we’ll enhance our infrastructure to minimize the risk to birds while helping reduce the number of related power outages to create a more reliable electric system for customers,” Kaminski said.

Atlantic City Electric recently completed infrastructure enhancements in Cape May, Ocean City and Strathmere, N.J., that addressed risks to avian wildlife. As a result, the company has not seen any bird-related incidents since in these areas.

Also as part of the event, Ben Wurst, a wildlife biologist with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, discussed the foundation’s role in helping manage and protect ospreys through man-made nesting platforms that provide a safer nesting alternative than utility poles. ACE partners with Conserve Wildlife to identify and address risks to birds throughout its service territory.

Birds routinely use power line poles and towers as perches to establish territorial boundaries, nest, hunt, rest, find shade and feed. Utility poles often provide perching or nesting opportunities in areas where few natural perches or nest sites can be found. If the configuration and location of utility structures are in areas where birds are attracted by favorable habitat or are in a migratory path, the chance of electrocution and/or collisions increase.

Learn more:

November 20th, 2014

Eagle Battles In New Jersey

Wildlife Blogger Jim from Readings From The Northside was lucky enough to witness two bald eagles fighting over a deceased duck. He captured their battle on film and describes what he saw on his blog Readings From The Northside.

As the numbers of eagles increase in New Jersey, these type of disputes are becoming more common place. Eagles not only fight over food but territory as well. Several eagles have been found deceased or injured this past year due to conflicts with other eagles.

Learn more about Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s Eagle Project.

Eagles fight over duck at LBI @ Readings From the Northside

Eagles fight over duck at LBI @ Readings From the Northside

Eagles lock talons @ Readings From the Northside

Eagles lock talons @ Readings From the Northside

November 19th, 2014

Celebrate GIS Day with Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey

Data nerds rejoice! Today, Wednesday, November 19 is GIS Day. Geographic information systems (GIS) technology helps our wildlife biologists protect rare species throughout New Jersey. GIS technology is used to create our species range maps and other important tools that show where wildlife occur and what habitat they need to exist.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation is a key player in updating the NJ Endangered and Nongame Species Program’s (ENSP) database of rare wildlife species. The database called “Biotics” is a GIS and Oracle-based system developed by NatureServe, the leading source of information on the precise locations and conditions of rare and threatened species and ecological communities in the Western Hemisphere.

Although CWF and ENSP biologists submit a majority of the data on Biotics, we rely on the help of citizen scientists to fully understand the wildlife picture in New Jersey. Do you want to help biologists monitor certain areas of the state and locate the presence of species of concern? Visit our website to learn how you can get involved.

In addition to the Biotics database, GIS was used to create range maps for all 190 species featured on our online field guide! Check it out.

Have you seen our American Oystercatcher Story Map? GIS was used to create that tool as well! A Story Map is a web-based interactive GIS map embedded with all kinds of content, like text, photographs, and video.

storymap
“American Oystercatchers Through the Seasons”
 tells the story about a species of migratory bird, the American Oystercatcher, which spends the summer breeding season along the New Jersey coast, and is present year-round along the southern New Jersey coast. Learn more about our Story Map.

This GIS Day, take a look at all of the maps around you and consider supporting additional Conserve Wildlife Foundation Story Maps!