Conserve Wildlife Blog

Photo from the Field

July 30th, 2010

Roads are barriers to wildlife

By Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

This year we started a new project to try and help reduce the amount of road kills of northern diamondback terrapins along Great Bay Blvd. in southern Ocean County. Great Bay Blvd. is a 5 mile long paved road that extends into the coastal saltmarsh. The road leads to the Rutgers Marine Field Station and the old Fish Factory on Seven Island. We were able to fence a small portion of the road, install three crossing signs along the road, and develop an educational brochure (that is available at marinas in the area).

Unfortunately, terrapins are still hit by motor vehicles along other portions of the road. This is inevitable. Fencing the whole road would almost be impossible and very time consuming to maintain. This fall and winter I am going to work with the town (Little Egg Harbor) and NJ Fish and Wildlife (who owns the land around the road) to come up with a plan to minimize road kills along the road. A viable option would be to install speed humps to reduce the speed of motorists along the road and for the town to post and enforce a reduced speed limit (25mph) along the road.

A northern diamondback terrapin pauses while crossing Great Bay Blvd. near Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey. © Ben Wurst

We are committed to preserving this incredible species and would like to thank everyone who has helped fund this project.

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