Conserve Wildlife Blog

July 27th, 2017

Oceans Deeply Blog: Ghost gear busters save marine animals

Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s Barnegat Bay ghost crab pots project is featured in this blog story covering a wildlife threat killing millions of marine animals every year. Read the full story here

Photo by: AFP/NOAA via NewsDeeply Oceans Deeply blog

July 18th, 2017

Going ‘wild’ online: CWF awards scholarships to talented high schoolers for social media outreach

by Genevieve Tarino

(From Left) CWF Executive Director David Wheeler, Claire Ang of Marine Academy for Science & Technology, CWF Director of Education Stephanie DAlessio, 1st Place Winner Ethan Chang, 3rd Place Winner Olivia Gemarro, Honorable Mention Nina Colagiovanni, Honorable Mention Sarina Schmidt, Maria Spina of PSEG Foundation and Russell Furnari of PSEG Services Corporation

Hundreds of high school students from across the state competed in Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s “Species on the Edge 2.0 Multimedia Contest”, engaging more than 23,000 people on social media with messages of wildlife protection. Of the entrants, three select winners earned scholarship funds.

“Today’s high schoolers grow up with an inherent expertise with technology and multimedia, yet it is far too easy for them to grow disconnected from the stunning nature and wildlife all around us. This contest utilizes their talents for technology to engage thousands of people across New Jersey and beyond with the wonders of wildlife – and a reminder for all of us to balance our lives by getting outdoors as well as online,” said David Wheeler, Executive Director of the nonprofit Conserve Wildlife Foundation.

Thanks to the generosity of corporate sponsor PSEG, Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s third annual multimedia contest focused on social media, giving students the opportunity to submit an original social media campaign showing why wildlife is important to protect and preserve in New Jersey and beyond. Winners were recognized this summer at a ceremony at PSE&G headquarters in Newark.

In addition to the student winners, CWF recognized Claire Ang, a marine science teacher from the Marine Academy for Science and Technology. Ms. Ang’s exceptional leadership engaged her high school in the contest, raising awareness about species protection.

Fifteen-year old Ethan Chang from Woodbridge High School won first place, while second and third place winners were Caitlyn Drace from Woodbridge High School and Olivia Gemarro from the Marine Academy of Science and Technology. In addition, Sarina Schmidt of Manchester Township High School and Nina Colagiovanni of Point Pleasant Beach High School were recognized for their wildlife videos. Each of the honorees plan to pursue wildlife conservation in various ways.

All three winners were awarded a gift bag, scholarships, and a special invitation to an eco-tour at Sedge Islands. Off the coast of Barnegat Bay, winners will have the unique opportunity to spend the day fishing, clamming, and wildlife watching.

Director of Education Stephanie DAlessio said, “The Species on the Edge 2.0 contest capitalizes on high school students’ expertise with social media platforms and provides them with the opportunity to showcase their talents, creativity, and their love for nature. This year’s contest allows high school students to advocate for wildlife conservation and to help raise awareness on social media about the importance of preserving and protecting wildlife.”

PSEG’s commitment to environmental stewardship made the contest possible by supporting funding for the scholarships. PSEG is a leader in conservation and restoration projects, including efforts to increase numbers of pollinators in the state.

The video submissions for Species on the Edge 2.0 can be viewed here.

July 17th, 2017

An Osprey Rescue

By Meghan Kolk, CWF Wildlife Biologist

I would like to take the time to share a noteworthy event from last week, as well as highlight a CWF volunteer who deserves recognition for his dedication to wildlife.  CWF received a call last Friday from a concerned citizen about an osprey chick that had fallen from its nest in Avalon.  Osprey chicks are extremely vulnerable to summer storms, and are often blown right from their nests in strong winds.  The storm that pushed through the area Thursday night had likely blown this chick out of its nest onto the marsh below.  This particular nest had just been surveyed on July 6 and had contained three young chicks.

osprey chick down on marsh after severe storms

Often when staff members are not available to respond to calls like this, we rely on our volunteers to represent us.  In this case, when CWF volunteer John King got the call, he hooked up his boat and immediately headed out to assess the situation in hopes of making a rescue.  When he arrived on the scene, John realized that there were actually three osprey chicks on the ground below the nest; however, two of them were unfortunately already deceased.  The parents were also sitting on the ground with the one surviving chick when he arrived.  John picked up the chick and examined it for injuries.  When he determined it was in good condition, he carried it up a ladder and placed it back into the nest as the parents circled and screamed above him.  As he left the site, the parents immediately returned to the nest to check on their chick.

Osprey chick returned to the safety of it’s nest

Even though John was only able to save one of the three chicks, this was still a success story that would not have been possible without the help of a devoted volunteer.  The concerned citizens who had called in the emergency watched the whole rescue from across the lagoon and reported back the following day that the chick was sitting up in the nest looking healthy.  CWF also greatly appreciates citizens who care enough to observe wildlife responsibly and report wildlife emergencies when necessary.

Adult returns to nesting platform after chick is safely returned to nest.

John King has been volunteering for CWF for many years and has worked on several projects including the Calling Amphibian Project, NJ Tiger Salamander project and the NJ eagle project.  He has been very involved with the NJ osprey project, headed by CWF’s Ben Wurst, assisting with osprey surveys during the breeding season and helping to construct and erect nest platforms over the winter.  In addition to CWF, John also volunteers with many other conservation organizations and is always happy to lend a hand.  Although he is retired, his volunteer work is practically a full time job. I sincerely admire John’s continued enthusiasm and his dedication to wildlife, and I believe the world would be a better place if there were more people like him.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ thanks you, John!

 

July 6th, 2017

Calling all Osprey Lovers!

Citizen Scientists Needed to help collect data on nesting ospreys

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Two young ospreys and an adult on a nest in Ocean County.

This year we are hoping to get a better estimate of the size and health of the osprey population in New Jersey. Up from only 50 pairs in the early 1970s to an estimated 600+ pairs today. Ospreys are an indicator species and as top tier predators, they show the effects of contaminants in the environment before many other long lived species. They are our new age “canary in the coal mine” so keeping tabs on the health of their population is key to assessing the health of our estuarine and marine ecosystems. Read the rest of this entry »

July 3rd, 2017

onEarth Blog: Red knots in danger from all sides

This recent story highlights the threats facing red knots and the horseshoe crabs they depend on, as well as Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s role in protecting the species.
Read the article in full here: onEarth Species Watch

Photo by Hans Hillewaert

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