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Archive for the ‘CWF In The News’ Category

CWF In The News: Bats and summer nights – perfect together!

Saturday, August 28th, 2021

by, Ethan Gilardi, Wildlife Biologist

Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus). Photo by Ethan Gilardi.

I recently had the chance to speak with the New Jersey Conservation Foundation about CWF’s work with bats.

We discussed how bat populations are recovering from White-Nose Syndrome, the difficulties of studying such an elusive species, the projects currently being undertaken by CWF to help our bats, and what makes our bats a special and irreplaceable part of New Jersey’s wildlife community.

We’d like to thank Sandy Perry for conducting this wonderful interview and Michele S. Byers for including us as a part of New Jersey Conservation Foundations’ The State We’re In.

Check out the excerpt below and continue reading this and many other great articles on njconservation.org.


Sit outside on a summer evening around sunset and look up. If you’re in an open area with nearby woods, you may be treated to a dazzling aerial display of bats hunting for flying insects.

“They’re endlessly fascinating,” said Ethan Gilardi, a bat biologist with the nonprofit Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. “They’re fun fliers, with all their diving and weaving and hairpin turns.”

Besides being interesting to watch, bats provide priceless insect control services in a state that jokingly refers to the mosquito as its state bird. “A single little brown bat can eat 3,000 insects a night,” noted Ethan. “They eat every kind of insect pest you can think of.”

But many of New Jersey’s bats are struggling to survive. Fifteen years ago, a fungus attacked hibernating bats, leading to a disease known as white-nose syndrome. The disease disrupts hibernation, causing bats to use up their vital energy needed to survive the winter. White-nose wiped out most of the bats in the Myotis genus: little brown bats – once our most widespread species – and northern long-eared bats.

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CWF in the News: Volunteers help salamanders cross NJ roadways

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

by Ethan Gilardi, Wildlife Biologist

https://i1.wp.com/www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2021/03/19/NNJH/8d71f555-3ccd-4e67-b853-b91ad51421f9-Spotted-Female_In-Hand_MacKenzieHall.jpg?ssl=1
A volunteers handles a spotted salamander. Photo by Mackenzie Hall

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation has been partnering with NJ’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) since 2002 for the annual Amphibian Crossing Project. On warm, rainy nights in the early Spring, we work with a fleet of incredible volunteers to hustle amphibians across the road at three key rescue sites. Still groggy from their winter hibernation, roads can be incredibly dangerous for the slow moving frogs and salamanders trying to reach their breeding grounds.

Over the course of this project, we’ve crossed an estimate 14,000 individuals at the Byram Township site alone!

Commenting on last Thursday’s crossing, the first of 2021, Amphibian Crossing Project Coordinator Christine Healy had the following to say:

“We were a little unsure of what to expect, since the temperature was a little on the cold side, but we crossed 1,215 amphibians at Byram Twp., 1,132 at Stillwater, and 963 at Liberty Twp.

I’d call that a success! Really proud of all the volunteers who made it happen.

Conditions look like they could be good toward the end of this week for round two!”

Christine Healy, Amphibian Crossing Project Coordinator

Bruce A. Scruton of The New Jersey Herald recently spoke with Christine to discuss the Amphibian Croosing Project and its storied history.

You can read the profile over on NJHerald.com to learn more about what it takes to help hundreds of our amphibian friends hop and meander across dangerous roadways.

Click here to read more.

Spotted salamander on a log
A spotted salamander peeks over a log. Photo by Mackenzie Hall.

CWF In The News: Eastern Coyote, Friend or Foe to LBI? Conservationists Weigh In

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

by Ethan Gilardi, Wildlife Biologist

A resting coyote with typical coloration. Photo by John Picken.

The expansion of Eastern Coyotes (Canis latrans x lycaon) throughout the northeastern United States has been a cause for alarm in some communities, but are they as dangerous as some fear?

A particularly adaptable wild canid, the eastern coyote is distinct from their western cousins and is considered to be a hybrid species, created when western coyotes and other wolf species, like the eastern wolf, interbred in the early 1900s. This new larger coyote species has been able to expand its territory out from its central/western roots and can now be found along much of the eastern coast of the United States.

The eastern coyote’s presence on our coasts now finds itself at odds with the humans who call these more cosmopolitan coastal areas their home, like on Long Beach Island where increasing coyote sightings over the past few years are beginning to worry residents.

Monique M. Demopoulos of TheSandpaper.net reached out to Conserve Wildlife New Jersey for a conservationist’s perspective.

CWF Habitat Program Manager Ben Wurst and Executive Director David Wheeler gave their thoughts in the article published on March 11th.

Reading read the full story over on TheSandpaper.net!

It is uncertain how endangered piping plovers, seen here at Barnegat Light, will be impacted by the coyote presence. (Photo by Ryan Morrill)

Want to learn more about eastern coyotes and their ecology here in New Jersey?

Watch David Wheeler’s Living with Eastern Coyotes: The Incredible Story of our Newest Wild Neighbors over on the CWF YouTube channel!