Conserve Wildlife Blog

Video from the field

December 5th, 2011

Ospreys, setting more records with a little help from mankind

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

At left, Marty McHugh (former chief of NJ Fish & Wildlife) and Pete McLain (former Deputy Director of NJ Fish & Wildlife) in August 2005 at the Sedge House. Ospreys would not be as numerous today if it weren't for their hard work and determination. © Kathy Clark/ENSP

Last year we installed or relocated a total of 17 osprey nesting platforms. This year we installed or moved another 21. In 2011 there were 25 new pairs, some of which, that nested on these new platforms. This year was another record setting year for ospreys in New Jersey. We recorded an average of 2.07 young per active nest, a new record. We last documented the size of population at 486 nesting pairs in 2009 when we conducted a statewide census.  We now believe that the state population has met recovery goals (of more than 500 nesting pairs) that were set after DDT and habitat loss decimated the population by upwards of 90%. We aren’t the only organization who has helped with the recovery of ospreys. We credit the hard work of biologists with the Endangered and Nongame Species Program in the 1970-present who worked tirelessly to help the population rebound. To name a few, former Deputy Chief of ENSP, Pete McLain; former Director of NJFW, Marty McHugh; former Chief of ENSP Larry Niles, current Chief of ENSP, Dave Jenkins; current Director of NJFW, Dave Chanda; and Supervising Zoologist Kathy Clark who has worked to protect ospreys over her entire 20+ year career with ENSP.

We can also credit the recovery efforts to local environmental and water-quality improvements, like the Barnegat Bay Initiative and restoration of the Meadowlands, and by the grass-roots efforts by concerned citizens and groups who have helped provide nesting platforms to accommodate their population growth.

In the next week ENSP and CWF will be releasing the 2011 Osprey Project Newsletter which summarizes the entire nesting season survey results. In the meantime, check out the video below of myself and two friends who volunteered to help me move a nesting platform on southern Barnegat Bay in late 2010. note: I usually have more than 3 people who assist me when installing an osprey platform. As they say “the more, the merrier…”

 

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4 Responses to “Video from the field”

  1. Stephanie says:

    Great video Ben!

  2. benwurst says:

    Thanks Steph! It was a lot of fun to make. You can expect more to come in 2012…

  3. Gigi says:

    Awesome!!!

  4. Jim Wright says:

    Great news on the Osprey comeback. Keep up the fine work.

 
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