Conserve Wildlife Blog

April 26th, 2017

LBIF Earth Day Native Plant Sale: The Leftovers

Give back to nature by planting native this spring!

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Beach plum (prunus maritima) trees act as great source of food for pollinators when in bloom in late April.

This past weekend we held our second annual native plant sale, in partnership with the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences in Loveladies, NJ. Despite some light rain, we had a great turnout at the event. All of the plants that we offered for sale were grown in New Jersey and without the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides. They also provide a great source of food and cover for wildlife, especially pollinators.

If we all reduced the amount of lawn that we maintain and planted native, then in turn, our local environment would benefit. With the native plant sale at LBIF, we stress the need to plant native to help provide habitat for wildlife and reduce runoff to Barnegat Bay. If we all do a little, then our combined efforts will make an impact.

The perennials, shrubs, and trees that we sold were hand selected for their environmental benefits and aesthetic beauty. Without being sure what people wanted, we sold out some some species very quickly, so we are looking into holding a follow up sale at LBIF next month.

If you missed out on the sale and are still interested in purchasing some plants, here is what we have left:

Perennial wildflowers Quantity left
Solidago sempervirens Seaside goldenrod 7 Quart Quarts = $5
Baptisia tinctoria Wild yellow indigo 0 Quart #1 = $10
Eupatorium perfoliatum Common boneset 3 Quart #2 = $15
Solidago canadensis Canada Goldenrod 0 Quart
Helenium autumnale Common sneezeweed 10 Quart
Liatris spicata Dense blazing star 0 Quart
Lobelia siphilitica Blue lobelia 0 Quart
Rudbeckia laciniata Cutleaf coneflower 8 Quart
Symphyotrichum novi-belgii  New York Aster 3 Quart
Shrubs
Baccharis halimifolia Groundsel tree 2 #1
Iva frutescens High tide bush (marsh alder) 0 #1
Prunus maritima Beach plum 0 #2
Rhus copallinum Winged sumac 2 #2
Trees
Cercis canadensis Eastern red bud 0 #2
Acer rubrum Red maple 0 #2
Betula populifolia Gray birch 1 #2
Pinus virginiana Virginia pine 0 #2
Quercus phellos Willow oak 0 #2
Scientific name Common name   Size container

All plants are available for pickup in the S. Ocean County/N. Atlantic area. Please email Ben Wurst if you are interested in purchasing any of these plants!

 

April 25th, 2017

Photo from the Field

#NotAnOsprey

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Moments before removing the two week old bald eagle nestling from its nest.

Read the rest of this entry »

April 18th, 2017

NJTV: Osprey population continues to rebound in NJ

NJTV News recently covered the continuing recovery of ospreys in the Garden State by visiting the nesting pair at Long Beach Island Foundation for the Arts & Sciences. CWF’s Ben Wurst and David Wheeler joined NJTV for this inspiring video and accompanying story.


LEARN MORE


April 11th, 2017

What’s Happening at Waterloo?

By Allegra Mitchell, CWF Biologist

 

Waterloo Village in Byram Township, Sussex County is more than a tourist attraction and local gem, it is also home to the largest cross-road amphibian migration in New Jersey. Each spring, frogs, toads, and salamanders stir from their hibernation to make their way to their breeding sites. Some of these sites, like the one at Waterloo, are vernal pools – small, temporary bodies of water that appear in early spring as snow melts and rain and groundwater gathers, and disappear throughout the summer as they evaporate. The ephemeral nature of these pools can’t support fish, which would prey on amphibian eggs and larvae. Vernal pools therefore provide some protection for amphibian offspring, with many species such as wood frogs and spotted and Jefferson salamanders – both of which are listed as New Jersey species of Special Concern – relying exclusively on these vernal pools for breeding.

 

 

The greatest challenge for amphibians breeding at Waterloo Historic Village is crossing Waterloo Road. Living in the most densely population state takes a toll on many species of wildlife in the form of habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation. Each year, many amphibians become victim to vehicular collision as they move from their hibernation sites across Waterloo Road to the vernal pool in which they reproduce. Amphibians may be disproportionately affected by vehicle-caused road mortalities compared to other wildlife because of their tendency to migrate en masse to breeding sites. These annual road mortalities can have devastating effects on amphibian population sizes, especially for the local at-risk salamander populations. In fact, as little as about 10% annual risk of road mortality in spotted salamanders can lead to the local extinction of an entire population.

 

Wood Frog eggs. Photo courtesy of MacKenzie Hall.

To address this problem, the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF) and the New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) organized amphibian rescue efforts. Since 2002, dedicated volunteers have assisted frogs, toads, and salamanders across Waterloo Road during the busiest migration nights. This aid has proven effective in reducing amphibian road mortalities, but it is not a permanent solution to the problem. Efforts are underway to construct under-road tunnels to help guide amphibians safely across Waterloo Road. These tunnels will provide safe passage for these critters throughout the breeding season, including on their migration back into the woods where they will hibernate. Since this return migration is more sporadic and less weather-dependent than migration to the vernal pool, it is much harder to protect amphibians as they make their way back to the forest.

 

 

This year, CWF scientists have begun the initial phases of research to understand current amphibian population sizes and the impact of vehicle traffic on these animals at Waterloo. Scientists and volunteers have been out 7 days a week since amphibian migrations began in late February to tally daily roadkill on Waterloo Road. This study will be used to evaluate changes to frog, toad, and salamander populations as the under-road amphibian tunnels are installed. CWF scientists have also conducted egg mass counts in the vernal pool at Waterloo Village to estimate the current population sizes of the different amphibian species in the area. Having this knowledge will allow CWF to improve on future projects to minimize road-related human-wildlife conflicts.

 

Spotted Salamander egg mass. Photo courtesy of MacKenzie Hall.

Along with improving conditions for amphibians in this location, CWF’s work at Waterloo Village will serve as an example of New Jersey statewide initiatives to reconnect wildlife habitat as a part of the Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey (CHANJ) program. The goal of CHANJ is to make our state landscapes more permeable to wildlife movement so that all of New Jersey’s residents – human and wildlife – will have the space they need to thrive.

 

In an effort to bring people and wildlife together in a positive way at Waterloo Village, CWF scientists are leading educational walks for the public and local schools. Through hands-on interaction, local residents can learn about and appreciate the remarkable wildlife right in their own back yards and what they can do to support conservation efforts.

 

All New Jerseyans can help wildlife this season by planting native plants for their gardens, building bat boxes where bats can roost, and, of course, by keeping an eye out on the roads, especially on warm, rainy nights when amphibians might be migrating.


LEARN MORE


Allegra Mitchell is a biologist for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

 

April 3rd, 2017

Studying the Ridgway’s Osprey of Belize: Part III

Braving the Caribbean Sea to Survey Turneffe Atoll

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Jay T. loads gear into Horace’s boat on Sittee River.

For the final leg of our survey of Ridgway’s ospreys in the northern most part of our study area, we set out for Turneffe Atoll. Turneffe Atoll is an archipelago of mangrove islands and coral reef that’s approximately 20 miles east of Belize City. It’s 30 miles long and 10 miles wide and Belize’s largest coral atoll. Luckily, it was declared a marine reserve in 2012, which protects it from future development. Turneffe is an amazing assemblage of different marine habitats which provide habitat for a variety of many different species of wildlife, including American crocodiles (more on this later!), conch, spiny lobster, manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, and many species of birds, coral and fish. The mangrove islands are large with taller trees on the interior of the island. This is where most, if not all, the ospreys nest. We left on Monday, February 20th. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Subscribe!

    Enter your email address to subscribe to the Conserve Wildlife Blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Support Conserve Wildlife Foundation

    Support our efforts to protect New Jersey’s rarest animals, restore important habitat, and foster pride in New Jersey’s rich wildlife heritage.

    Join - Donate - Adopt a Species
  • Get Connected

  • Recent Comments