Conserve Wildlife Blog

The Return of Bald Eagles in New Jersey

May 14th, 2015

Conserve Wildlife Foundation Releases New Story Map: “The Return of Bald Eagles in New Jersey”

By: Brian Henderson, GIS Specialist

Bald Eagle Story Map

Today, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF) announced the release of “The Return of Bald Eagles in New Jersey” a Story Map that provides a new way to visualize the increasing number of bald eagle pairs nesting in New Jersey over time.

 

For years, CWF has worked closely with the New Jersey Endangered & Nongame Species Program (ENSP) to track and restore the bald eagle population within the state. It has been a rewarding experience for all involved to witness the return of bald eagles to the garden state, and now the public can appreciate the scope of their return as well.

 

The recovery of bald eagles nationally and in New Jersey is fairly well known, but some may not realize that as recently as the mid-80’s there was only a single pair of nesting bald eagles in all of New Jersey. The ban of DDT, combined with restoration efforts by ENSP biologists, resulted in population increases to 23 pairs in 2000, 48 pairs by 2005 and 82 pairs in 2010.

 

In 2014, there were a record 146 active bald eagle pairs nesting in New Jersey. This year, 190 nesting territories are being monitored and currently 88 chicks have been reported at 52 nests; it is still early in the season so we don’t have a count for all nests yet.

 

“The Return of Bald Eagles in New Jersey” Story Map displays the locations of all the known active bald eagle nests in New Jersey from 1985-2014. Users can choose to view the nests active in a single year or over a longer period of time. By choosing a one year interval and beginning in 1985, it’s possible to watch as nests multiply from a single nest in Bear Swamp to densely populating the Delaware Bay coast and spreading across the southern portion of the state and eventually into almost every county of New Jersey. In 2014, the only counties in New Jersey without an active bald eagle nest were Essex and Hudson.

 

The Story Map also highlights “featured” nests, or nests of special significance, including the Duke Farms nest which has been featured on a webcam since 2005 and the Millville nest where a juvenile eagle was fitted with a GPS tracking device in 2014. These featured nests include more information, pictures and links to pages that explore related projects in greater depth.

 

As the bald eagle population has reached record numbers in New Jersey, the raptors have expanded into non-traditional parts of the state, providing more and more people with a chance to glimpse this iconic species. This map highlights the ongoing success of conservation efforts and illustrates that whether you realize it or not, you’re never very far from a bald eagle nest in New Jersey!

 

Learn more:

Brian Henderson is the GIS Specialist for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

 

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