Conserve Wildlife Blog

October 24th, 2014

Protecting Bats – What is Being Done and How You Can Help!

Hard to believe, but October is already here! And that can only mean one thing — bats! Everyday throughout the month of October, follow CWF on social media and our blog to fly high with these incredible creatures of the night! Each day we will have fun facts, quizzes, and beautiful photos highlighting these amazing animals and the work CWF does to protect them.

Our previous coverage included an overview of bats in New Jersey from our biologist, a look into the threats facing bats today, and a reality check on the myths and legends surrounding bats! Today we share some examples of ways you can get involved in our efforts to save bats in New Jersey.  Stay tuned next week to join CWF bat biologist Stephanie Feigin in the field!

Make sure to follow us everyday on Facebook and Twitter and read our blog every Friday for our #31daysofbats!


By Julianne Maksym

Big brown bats in bat house (c) Stephanie Feigin

Big brown bats in bat house (c) Stephanie Feigin

With terrifying threats like White Nose Syndrome, bats face a tremendous fight for survival. Populations are declining worldwide at an alarming rate – some species are becoming so rare they are hardly ever seen at all.

Bats need all the help they can get and Conserve Wildlife Foundation (CWF) offers some simple ways to get involved and make a difference:

Building a bat house: This can create a safe and secure home for a colony of bats of up to 80 individuals. These houses provide the opportunity for bats to settle into a new roost before being evicted from a homeowner’s dwelling. The most ideal location to position a bat house is on the side of a building (where bats already roost) or on a pole in open space. The house should be set at a minimum of 12 feet off the ground facing south to southeast with early and direct sunlight. CWF is able to offer free bat houses in cases where bats are being evicted from a building. If interested in setting up a bat house please contact us, as we would like to monitor the process.

Summer Bat Count: During the hot summer months, we ask volunteers to participate in our annual Summer Bat Count. There are a total of four bat counts per summer – two between May 15 and June 21 (before pups can fly) and two more between July 6 and July 31 (when pups are flying and exiting the roost with their mothers). Making sure you do all four bat counts will allow us to best compare data from year to year and between sites. Previous yearly reports and current data sheets can be found at CWF’s ‘Summer Bat Count’ page.

AnaBat acoustic detector. The attached PDA (like a little computer screen) lets us view incoming bat calls instantly. © MacKenzie Hall

AnaBat acoustic detector. The attached PDA (like a little computer screen) lets us view incoming bat calls instantly. © MacKenzie Hall

Acoustic surveys: To aid in bat research across New Jersey, CWF purchased two AnaBat SD2 acoustic detectors for the purpose of studying echolocation and general bat behavior. Four bat detectors are now in circulation for use; volunteers now do most of our mobile acoustic surveys. Volunteers are assigned a 10-30 mile driving route in their local area to travel twice each summer after dark. Detectors can be mounted on vehicles and activated while driving at night, making them a pretty quick and easy way to get a lot of information – all without having to catch, hold, or even see a single animal. For more details please contact us, as there is currently a waiting list for the acoustic detectors.

Plant a night garden: Love bats and have a green thumb? Plant a night garden! In these sanctuaries, night-scented flowers are grown to attract bugs such as moths, which in effect provides an ample food source for bats. Plants such as white jasmine and evening primrose and herbs such as mint and lemon balm are great to start with. Plant oak or field maple trees to add some shelter and warmth to your garden. To get started on your green project, check out Back to Nature, an artisanal home and garden store located in Basking Ridge, NJ. *Note: 10% discount for CWF members.

Do not disturb bats during hibernation: A huge way in which to help maintain stable bat populations is to stay away from caves, roosts, or trees during hibernation season. It is important to not disturb a hibernating bat as any disruption to its sleep can result in early awakenings. It is estimated that a bat can burn up to a two weeks worth of fat reserves in each awakening which in turn can severely weaken and/or kill the bat. Whether you are outside hiking or just taking a stroll and encounter a roost, leave quickly and quietly!

IMG_1497Adopt a Species Program: Interested in adopting a bat? Check out CWF’s Adopt a Species Program for the Indiana Bat. Your symbolic adoption supports our efforts to protect New Jersey’s rarest animals, restore important habitat, and foster pride in New Jersey’s rich wildlife heritage. Adopting a Species also makes a great gift for a friend or loved one. Give the gift that gives twice!

Bats face an ever-present uphill battle due to both natural and unnatural causes. Populations are in desperate need of help! Whether it is building a bat house or a night garden or anything in between, every action you take in supporting these animals means we are one step closer in providing a stable world for them. Join CWF in volunteering your time, educating the public and most importantly, protecting our amazing bats!

Julianne Maksym is a graduate wildlife intern for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey

October 22nd, 2014

Spotlight on Meghan Wren, Women and Wildlife Leadership Award Winner

Megan Wren: Founding Director of Bayshore Center at Bivalve Recognized for her Conservation Efforts

As an iconic protector of the Delaware Bay for over 26 years, 2014 Women & Wildlife Leadership Award Winner Meghan Wren has devoted her life to restoring the region through hard work, dedication and leading by example.

Megan Wren, inspiration award winner

Megan Wren Leadership Award Winner

At 23 years old, Meghan led a restoration effort for the 1928 oyster schooner A.J. Meerwald. Through a variety of volunteer and community-based fundraising activities, along with major grant support, A.J. Meerwald was brilliantly restored and is now New Jersey’s official Tall Ship, serving as a sailing classroom. Meghan founded Bayshore Center at Bivalve in 1988 to motivate people to take care of the history, culture and environment of the Bayshore region. More than 20 years later, Meghan has continued to transform Bivalve through a number of restoration and conservation projects, as well as, the opening of the Delaware Bay Museum & Folklife Center.

Join us as we honor Meghan and the three other 2014 Women & Wildlife Award Winners this Thursday, October 23rd beginning at 6pm. Purchase events tickets and find more information.


 

CWF asked Meghan a few questions about what working in wildlife conservation means to her:

What motivates you to get out of bed each morning and go to work?

“I go to work each morning to do what I can to raise the level of concern for and participation in the stewardship of New Jersey’s Bayshore.”

What is your favorite thing about your job?
“My favorite thing about my job is the diversity of opportunities. While focusing on Delaware Bay, I have had the opportunity to learn about a broad range of scientific issues, conduct historic research and collect first hand stories, meet and work with amazing people and experience the magical, seasonal phenomenon of the Bayshore’s flora and fauna.”

Name one thing you can’t live without.

“I can’t live happily without my daily fix of Bayshore vistas across wide expanses of marsh and water.”

Do you have a New Jersey wildlife species that you like best? Why?

“I’ve had a long personal history with Diamondback Terrapins, helping hatchlings find the water for as long as I can remember. I love the first warm days of spring, when I can find them emerging from my garden in search of the water. They are so different from one another in color, tone and markings. I love to see the heads of females pop out of the water unexpectedly as they scan the shoreline for a place to come up to lay their eggs.”

What interests you the most about New Jersey’s wildlife?

“I am particularly interested in learning more about the life cycle and stories of the Bayshore region species.”

Name one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to change the world.

“Perseverance.”

What wildlife “lives” in your office? At your home?

“My office, in Bivalve, on the Maurice River just two bends before Delaware Bay, has daily eagle visits. The historic roof over the wharves entices shorebirds, skimmers and seagulls depending on the season; mute swans, fiddler crabs and occasional otters cavort in the mud and water between the docks. There is a mini-oyster reef just off the dock with oysters, gobys and a plethora of unseen marine life. The 4,000 acres of wetlands contiguous to the property host countless species of birds, mammals and fish.

“My home in Money Island on the Nantuxent Creek also hosts abundant eagles, ospreys and marsh hawks overhead and speedy peregrines over the water. Purple martins, barn and tree swallows, great horned owls often call at night from the surrounding trees and orioles. Wrens and mourning doves nest in the yard. Along the road, I find muskrats, raccoons, opossums, skunk, mink, otters, weasels, rats, meadow voles, coyotes, and an occasional deer. All the usual suspects including raptors, warblers, shorebirds and songbirds in the skies, trees and marshes; and the ever present clapper rails, willets and great blue herons can be heard clacking and squawking from the wetlands.”

What do you find most challenging about your profession?

“I find it very difficult to juggle competing priorities, especially when all of them seem incredibly urgent.”

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working?

“I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family, walking along the Bay beaches, kayaking its tributaries and hiking through its woodlands.”

Please join us this Thursday, October 23, 2014, from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Trenton Country Club to honor the contributions that Meghan Wren, Brooke Maslo, Cathy Malok and Jeanne McArthur-Heuser have made to wildlife in New Jersey.

We are excited to recognize the leadership and inspiration they provide for those working to protect wildlife in New Jersey. Women & Wildlife will also celebrate the timeless and inspiring journeys of wildlife migration in New Jersey and beyond.

October 21st, 2014

Osprey Cam = Fixed!

Osprey Cam at Edwin B. Forsythe NWR is back online!
Thumbs up! Osprey Cam is back online.

Thumbs up! Osprey Cam is back online.

The Osprey Cam inside Edwin B. Forsythe NWR is back online! Yay!! The source of the problem with the camera dying right when the young were ready to fledge, is with the network switch. Apparently it can’t handle the high heat inside the equipment box. Either way it turned off at the worst possible time! This fall/winter we’ll be working on a fix for the problem. We’ll also be looking to enhance the camera experience. Now that the birds are somewhat used to the camera setup, we’re thinking of installing the PTZ camera right off the nest. It’ll give us great close ups of the adults and nestlings! More news to come. For now you can keep an eye our for wintering peregrine falcons, bald eagles and any other birds that might perch on the platform!

October 20th, 2014

Spotlight on Brooke Maslo, Women and Wildlife Education Award Winner

Rutgers Professor Dr. Brooke Maslo Honored for her Contribution to Wildlife Conservation

As a Rutgers University professor, 2014 Women & Wildlife Inspiration Award Winner Dr. Brooke Malso has impacted the lives of many students by demonstrating the value of wildlife conservation. Through her scientific research, she has also uncovered valuable findings that have positively impacted conservation efforts in New Jersey.

Brooke Maslo Education Award Winner

Brooke Maslo Education Award Winner

In her course “Wildlife Ecology and Conservation,” Brooke creates a first-hand experience in conservation for each of her students by assigning them to work with a wildlife professional to create and execute a management plan for a species of their choice. An avid scientist, Brooke’s current research on beach-nesting bird habitat focuses on the challenges of both protecting breeding habitats to conserve threatened wildlife and protecting coastal infrastructure for severe storm resiliency. Brooke also investigates the role of bats in the control of invasive agricultural insects, encourage New Jersey agriculturalists to provide suitable habitats for the species, and educate New Jersey residents about bats.

Join us to honor Brooke and the three other 2014 Women & Wildlife Award Winners on Thursday, October 23rd beginning at 6pm. Purchase events tickets and find more information.


 

CWF asked Brooke a few questions about what working in wildlife rehabilitation means to her:

What is your favorite thing about your job?

“My favorite thing about being an academic researcher is that I am constantly learning. Conservation issues are complex and require solid understanding of the mechanisms that drive both the conservation threat, as well as the species’ response. In order to develop strategies to deal with new conservation issues, we must use what is known to explore how we can manage what is poorly understood. That requires a multidisciplinary approach, and it is often daunting to move out of one’s comfort zone to learn another branch of the field. However, arming yourself with the knowledge that can truly combat a conservation threat is incredibly rewarding.”

What do you find most challenging about your profession?

“Time management. Between teaching, advising students, conducting research, and engaging in public outreach, I often find myself staring at my to-do list, unsure of where to begin. When I am home, my mind is usually still on work, and I have to make a conscious effort to focus on relaxing and enjoying recreational time with my family. I succeed in that for the most part, but it is certainly a challenge.”

Do you have a New Jersey wildlife species that you like best? Why?

“That’s a tough question. I conducted my PhD work on piping plovers, which are probably about the cutest birds in the world. They will always hold a special place in my heart! But I am also quite happy working with little brown bats (and find them pretty cute, too!). I think my passion for little browns is driven by just how intelligent, adaptive, and social these animals are! The more I learn about them, the more intrigued I become.”

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working?

“When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family outdoors… boating, swimming, going to sports games, etc. Doing any activity is great if you make it that way!”

Name one thing you can’t live without.

“Anyone who knows me knows that I cannot live without my NY Giants football Sundays. Obsessed might be an understatement.”

Please join us on Thursday, October 23, 2014, from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Trenton Country Club to honor the contributions that Brooke Maslo, Cathy Malok, Jeanne McArthur-Heuser, and Meghan Wren have made to wildlife in New Jersey.

We are excited to recognize the leadership and inspiration they provide for those working to protect wildlife in New Jersey. Women & Wildlife will also celebrate the timeless and inspiring journeys of wildlife migration in New Jersey and beyond.

 

 

October 16th, 2014

Spotlight on Cathy Malok, Women and Wildlife Inspiration Award Winner

Cathy Malok: Inspiring Others to Care for New Jersey’s Wildlife

Over the last 27 years, 2014 Women & Wildlife Inspiration Award Winner Cathy Malok has made innumerable contributions to wildlife rehabilitation in New Jersey. She has played a role in the rehabilitation of tens of thousands of birds native to the state, shared her knowledge and experience with others, and inspired countless young women to follow a path similar to her own.

Cathy Malok Inspiration Award Winner

Cathy Malok Inspiration Award Winner

Cathy is currently the Vice President of the New Jersey Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators(NJAWR) and also serves on its Board of Directors. NJAWR, a recognized non-profit organization since 1991, has become an invaluable resource for information and educational opportunities for wildlife rehabilitators throughout the state. Cathy passionately serves as the Infirmary Manager of The Raptor Trust, one of the premier wild bird rehabilitation centers in the country, which treats nearly 3,000 injured birds with state-of-the-art medical facilities each year.

Through her rehabilitation efforts, Cathy has not only made outstanding contributions to wildlife conservation, but has also educated and inspired others to become involved. She is truly an inspirational leader, giving assistance and advice to local wildlife professionals daily with enthusiasm, compassion and skill.

Join us to honor Cathy and the three other 2014 Women & Wildlife Award Winners on Thursday, October 23rd beginning at 6pm. Purchase events tickets and find more information.


 

CWF asked Cathy a few questions about what working in wildlife rehabilitation means to her:

What motivates you to get out of bed each morning and go to work?

“The dozens or sometimes hundreds of animals that we care for at the Center; they need our help.”

What is your favorite thing about your job?

“There is always something new to learn.”

Name one thing you can’t live without.

“Time in the woods.”

Do you have a New Jersey wildlife species that you like best? Why?

“Peregrine Falcon. They are incredible; to watch them fly is amazing.”

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working?
“Hiking.”

Please join us on Thursday, October 23, 2014, from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Trenton Country Club to honor the contributions that Cathy Malok, Jeanne McArthur-Heuser, Brooke Maslo, and Meghan Wren have made to wildlife in New Jersey.