Conserve Wildlife Blog

January 15th, 2019

Duke Farms Alumni D/99: All Grown Up

by Larissa Smith: CWF Biologist

On Sunday January 13th, 2019 photographer, Bob Cook was taking photos of the ~20 eagles at a lake in a Mercer County park. He noticed that one of the eagles had a green tag on it’s right leg. After reviewing the photos it was established that the band was D/99.

D/99;1/13/19@ Bob Cook

D/99 is from the Duke Farms nest located in Somerset County. He and his two siblings grew up as a celebrities their every move being watched by viewers of the Duke Farms eagle camera.  The three chicks were banded on May 12th, 2014. Measurements showed that there there were two males and one female, D/99 was the youngest male.  All three fledged from the nest in June 2014.

chicks at Duke Farms nest 5/12/14. D/99 is in the middle.

Unfortunately, in August of 2014 we received a report that D/98, the oldest male, was found dead up in Maine.  He most likely died of injuries that occurred during a fight with another eagle. This most recent sighting of D/99 is the first report of either of the two remaining chicks. D/99 will be five years old in April and reaching the age where he will be looking for a mate and establishing his own territory.  It is always nice to know that a chick has survived to adulthood and most likely has come back to NJ to nest.

D/99 @Bob Cook


December 26th, 2018

2018 NJ Bald Eagle Project Report

by: Larissa Smith, CWF Wildlife Biologist

photo by Bob Kane, Cranbury, Middlesex County

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ in partnership with the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, Endangered and Nongame Species Program, has released the 2018 NJ Bald Eagle Project Report.

“Two hundred-four nest sites were monitored during the nesting season, of which 185 were documented to be active (with eggs) and 19 were territorial or housekeeping pairs.  Thirty new eagle pairs were found this season, 20 in the south, nine in central and one in the north.  One hundred-twenty-one nests (66%) of the 182 known-outcome nests produced 172 young, for a productivity rate of 0.94 young per active/known-outcome nest. The failure rate was well above average with 61 nests (33%) failing to produce.  The Delaware Bay region remained the state’s eagle stronghold, with roughly half of nests located in Cumberland and Salem counties and the bayside of Cape May County.”

The number of active nests has increased while the number of young eagles fledged has decreased since a high of  216 young fledged in 2016.  During the 2018 eagle nesting season there was an abundance of cold, wet, windy and snowy weather which was the cause for a portion of the nest failures. As the eagle population increases, there are  more eagles competing for territories. This can also be a contributing factor in nest failures.  NJ is still in the range of 0.9 to 1.1 young per nest which is needed for population maintenance with a productivity rate of 0.94 young per known-outcome/active nest in 2018. The 2018 NJ Eagle Project Report has all the details on the project including telemetry, re-sightings and recoveries.

The success of the eagle project is due to the tremendous dedication of the NJ Eagle Project Volunteers. They monitor the nests in all types of conditions and education people about the eagles with enthusiasm.

THANK YOU

 

 

December 8th, 2018

Fishing For A Cleaner Barnegat Bay

Ghost pots in Barnegat Bay

By: Emily Heiser; Wildlife Biologist

Derelict fishing gear continues to plague the depths of Barnegat Bay.  Often lost through storm events or due to boat traffic, lost or abandoned crab pots (ghost pots) become an unintentional deathtrap for a variety of marine species and reduce otherwise harvestable resources.  CWF and their partners at MATES, Stockton, and ALS have been working to recover lost pots in Barnegat Bay since 2015.

Over the course of the last three field seasons, 1,300 crab pots have been recovered and their bycatch has been extensively documented.  Notably, CWF and MATES have been focusing on how to further help northern diamondback terrapins who often find themselves caught in ghost pots.  In 2016, one pot contained the remains of 17 terrapins.

As we enter the fourth field season of pot collections, the project hopes to not only recover as may pots as possible, but also to glean further information on how the pots move in a variety of substrates and under a variety conditions.  To bring further awareness to the issue, CWF teamed up with the awesome folks at Citizen Racecar to produce a short informational film about ghost fishing and its effects on Barnegat Bay.  Visit our Facebook page to view the video: https://www.facebook.com/wildlifenj/

This project is funded primarily by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with additional support by the New Jersey Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Covanta and Schnitzer Steel also support the project by recycling the metal in the retrieved crab pots.

 

December 7th, 2018

NJ.com: Number of birdstrikes on the rise in N.J.

Story by Ted Sherman, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Photo Credit: NJ.com

Nearly 10 years ago, a US Airways flight out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport memorably ended up in the Hudson River after striking a flock of Canada geese and losing engine power just northeast of the George Washington Bridge.

The passengers and flight crew survived the so-called “Miracle on the Hudson.” But each year, thousands of planes meet up with birds and other wildlife, and those numbers are growing in New Jersey.

In 2017, there was 366 reports of wildlife strikes in New Jersey. That was up from 326 in 2016. Among those incidents included a September 2017 crash of an ultralight aircraft in Cumberland County, after its pilot was forced to bank hard after a flock of small birds entered his flightpath. A moment later, a larger bird struck the support cable on his right wing and he tried to touch down to check for damage. Hitting the ground hard, the kite-like plane was substantially damaged.

David Wheeler, executive director of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation  of New Jersey, said the increasing number of bird strikes in New Jersey  may be a matter of better reporting, as well as the increasing number of flights in the Northeast.

Click here to continue reading.

December 6th, 2018

Conserving the Nature of the Northeast Blog: Restoration brings back red knots, piping plovers & saltmarsh sparrows

Story by Darci Palmquist, Conserving the Nature of the Northeast

A saltmarsh sparrow photographed in Delaware. Credit: Matt Tillett, creative commons.

Even if you’re not a birder, there are a lot of reasons to care about birds. There are of course their aesthetic qualities — beautiful, charming, euphonious — and their incredible feats of survival as small creatures in a big, ever-changing world.

But like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, when birds aren’t doing well it usually means their habitat is suffering in some way. And if the habitat isn’t functioning, people lose out too; on the benefits that nature provides, from clean air and water to storm defenses.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Fish and Wildlife Service invested in restoring and protecting natural systems up and down the East Coast that provide important habitat for wildlife while also creating natural defenses for people. A big part of building this stronger coast is making sure that wildlife like shorebirds have the habitat they need — the marshes, beaches and dunes — to nest, feed and raise their young.

Here are stories of how restoration efforts are helping ensure a brighter future for three bird species — red knotpiping plover and saltmarsh sparrow.

Click here to read more.

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