Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Amphibians’ Category

New Jersey’s Wildlife in the Time of COVID-19 – Part 1

Friday, May 29th, 2020

by David Wheeler

COVID-19 has changed our lives in virtually every possible way over the last few months. Our relationship to wildlife is no different. This three-part series will explore the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown on wildlife in New Jersey and across the world. Be sure to also check out our podcast on COVID-19 and wildlife.

From my car window, I observed as many red foxes in a recent week as I had seen in the previous year combined. And it wasn’t just fox I was seeing more of. Wild turkeys, raccoons, migratory songbirds – I was seeing them all in greater abundance since the COVID-19 pandemic restricted most of us to our homes for nearly all of our waking hours.

A red fox kit with his mother.
Photo from www.johnentwistlephotography.com
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Amphibian Crossing Project on PBS EcoSense for Living

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

Wildlife habitats all over the country have been broken into ever smaller pieces by human development, making it challenging for animals to safely find food, mates or a place to make a nest or den. This is especially true in New Jersey, which has more people per square mile than any other state by far.

The PBS EcoSense for Living episode ”Wildlife Crossings” has captured the challenges habitat fragmentation poses to wildlife, along with the amazing work that scientists, engineers, and wildlife managers are doing to help. Projects supporting New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey (CHANJ) initiative, including CWF’s Amphibian Crossing Project, are featured beginning at 14:10.

On warm, rainy spring evenings salamanders, frogs and toads venture out for the most eventful nights of their year. They have but one goal – to make it to a vernal pool to breed. But between them and the pool is a road, filled with cars barreling along, completely oblivious to their big plans.

A single vehicle can crush dozens of these slow-moving animals as they try to make it across the road. From the driver’s seat they may look like mere twigs, leaves, or raindrops bouncing off the road. With high mortality rates year after year, it doesn’t take long for a population to nose-dive.

The Amphibian Crossing Program helps hundreds of salamanders, frogs and toads make that hazardous journey so they can have their big night. We are also assisting NJDFW in preparing for a wildlife crossing structure system consisting of under-road tunnels and guide fencing to help amphibians at our busiest migration site.

Successful “critter crossings” at this priority site could pave the way for many other projects, allowing salamanders, frogs, and toads (as well as snakes, turtles, and other small animals) to safely and independently cross between their upland habitats and breeding pools each spring. To see how the Amphibian Crossing Project fits in with other statewide projects supporting wildlife habitat connectivity see Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey (CHANJ).

Want to help? Volunteers for the Amphibian Crossing Project must complete a training session. If you are interested in being a part of next year’s project, please contact allegra.mitchell@conservewildlifenj.org.

Resources

Wild for Volunteers Guest Post: Birds, Bats, Frogs and Horseshoe Crabs!

Monday, April 27th, 2020

by John King

Some of the species (super) volunteer John King has helped.

When I retired from teaching, one of my first tasks was to search for local organizations that encouraged volunteers, especially in areas of wildlife conservation. Luckily, I found Conserve Wildlife Foundation. I have to say that over the past few years, my volunteer service with CWF has been both rewarding and inspiring!

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Wild for Volunteers Guest Post: Amphibian Crossing

Friday, April 24th, 2020

by Annabel Weiman

About the author: Annabel is a sophomore at Indian Hills High School in Oakland, New Jersey. When not helping amphibians cross the road she enjoys photography, the beach and badminton. Thank you for volunteering and sharing your experience Annabel!

Please note: the Amphibian Crossing Project activity described here occurred before restrictions for COVID-19 were in place. At this time CWF is only performing essential wildlife monitoring and conservation duties while practicing social distancing and following all state and CDC guidelines.

In early March, my dad Rick got an email from wildlife biologist Allegra Mitchell of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ (CWF) saying tonight was the night. My dad came home from work excited, got the flashlights and rain coats out, and called my Aunt June and cousin Sarah asking if they wanted to go with us. We had all signed up to be CWF amphibian crossing volunteers. 

Helping a Spotted Salamander cross the road.
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Citizen Science Project: Get in the Field for Frogs

Monday, December 9th, 2019

by: Alison Levine, Communications Coordinator

Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog. Photo by Brian R. Curry.

Amphibians are among the most vulnerable and rapidly declining wildlife groups in the world. Do you want to get out in the field and help frogs here in New Jersey? 

Join CWF biologist Allegra Mitchell and be a part of the Kauffeld’s Calling Frogs Citizen Science Monitoring Project.

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