Conserve Wildlife Blog

Donations needed for Falcon Project!

May 5th, 2014

New cart needed to carry remote, motion activated camera to nests

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Each spring we work with NJ Fish & Wildlife Biologists to deploy a remote, motion activated camera at coastal peregrine falcon nests. The camera is set at the entrance to nestboxes or Dog Igloos to capture video of the adults as they enter and exit the nestbox when they are incubating eggs. As the pair exchanges incubation duties they go in and out, past the small camera. Most adults where leg bands (that they were given before fledging): one USGS band (silver or black:NJ, and one auxiliary color band with an alpha/numeric code). The data that’s collected helps biologist to keep track of the population and also allows us to find out the age of adults, their origin, nest site fidelity, and turnover rates.

To carry this wonderful camera to nest sites we use a small cart (made by Wheeleez, Inc.) transport it over the saltmarsh environment. Why is the Wheeleez cart important? Well, the cart has huge tires with low ground pressure. This helps us to leave a small footprint on our coastal saltmarshes. It glides easily over spartina covered marshes and fits perfectly over extension ladders that we use to cross small ditches on our way out to falcons nests that are on old hacking towers. There are around 10 towers where we deploy this camera and the cart is crucial to this project!

The current cart is over 10 years old and is falling apart. It’s wheels fall off and now it’s being held together with cable ties… We could carry it by hand, but there’s a heavy battery inside the Pelican Case that houses the camera system. We also carry a 16 or 20′ ladder to access nests, which are on 30-40′ towers. Carrying both by oneself would be extremely difficult, especially considering we sometimes walk long distances to a nest (and often cross many ditches). We’re asking for your support to help us purchase a new cart. We need to raise $300 within the next 14-21 days.

 

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