Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Eagles and Nor’easters

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

Larissa Smith: CWF, Wildlife Biologist

We are honored to have Diane Cook as a guest blogger, over the next few months. Diane will be discussing Duke Farms eagle cam and how she uses it in her classroom. Diane is a K-2 Technology Literacy teacher at both Copper Hill and Robert Hunter Elementary schools.  She has been an avid and enthusiastic eagle cam viewer since 2008 and now she is the official nest monitor for the Duke Farms nest.  As the monitor Diane records important data into the Eagle Project database, Nest Story. Diane also uses the eagle cam in her classroom and was the winner of a contest held by Duke Farms and CWF in 2015, to choose the best bald eagle lesson plan.

Diane was home from school during yesterday’s snowstorm and able to document the eagles during the storm.

March 7, 2108, Diane Cook’s blog

Thankfully the live cam was back up and running by the time school started on Monday following the first Nor’easter to hit our part of NJ. Was glad to be able to tell the students all was well, and that they could see for themselves! The good news was soon replaced by worry with yet another Nor’easter predicted for today. The day began slowly. Yes, it was snowing, but lightly. Things didn’t look too bad.

Within minutes, the snow really picked up in intensity. The storm hit quickly and the snow fell fast and heavy. Within minutes snow had covered the ground.

There was an exchange at some point on the nest. Mom won the rights to incubation. Then something I’ve never seen before happened. BOTH eagles stayed on the nest through the storm. They laid side by side.

Thanks to Charles T. Barreca who mans the camera at Duke Farms for the awesome close up view. As the camera moved, the eagles looked up at the noise.

They would shake off the snow, but remained on the nest together.

More snow fell. Still the eagles sat.

Finally the male flew off the nest, but stayed on a nearby branch.

No matter how much snow fell, these dedicated parents remain with their eggs and incubation continues.


NJ.com Video: Duke Farms Eagle Cam highlights bald eagles’ recovery

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

by David Wheeler

NJ.com reporter Alexis Johnson at Duke Farms in Hillsborough

Conserve Wildlife Foundation has long partnered on the famed Eagle Cam at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, which has thrilled over 13 million viewers since it started.

In this video, NJ.com reporter Alexis Johnson covers the state’s longest running Eagle Cam with an interview with Duke Farms Executive Director Michael Catania.

Bald eagles have nested at Duke Farms since 2005. Currently the pair has laid two eggs in this nest, with the first egg laid on Valentines Day this year.

From just a single nest remaining in the state in the late 1970s and early 1980s, bald eagles have recovered to over 170 nests, thanks largely to scientists and volunteers from the New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Species Program and Conserve Wildlife Foundation.

You can watch the NJ.com video here.

The Duke Farms Eagle Cam can be found here, and author Jim Wright’s e-book “Duke Farms’ Bald Eagles” provides some fascinating additional information about this nest.

CWF’s Bald Eagle webpage and annual Bald Eagle report details the story of bald eagles in New Jersey, with a number of other helpful links.

CWF live interview with PBS Nature explores climate change impacts on birds

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

The WNET-PBS Nature program Peril & Promise celebrated the Great Backyard Bird Count with two live interviews with Conserve Wildlife Foundation at DeKorte Park in the Meadowlands.

In the first live interview, CWF Executive Director David Wheeler and Jim Wright, who has written widely about birds and the Meadowlands, discussed the importance of bird counts to CWF’s work, and the growing threat of climate change on bird populations around the world.

Climate change is “toughest on the migrants,” said Wheeler. “When you think about a bird leaving its neotropical wintering grounds in Central or South America and then coming up to New York or New Jersey, that’s a leap of faith that everything is as it has always been. But in reality, as spring seems to arrive earlier each year along with the leaves, the foliage, the insects, basically the bird risks coming back to a depleted prey resource – and they can struggle to survive.”

 

 Photo by Jim Wright, Meadowblog.net

View the interview here. Check our blog again tomorrow for the second interview, discussing the remarkable recovery of bald eagles.

Peril & Promise: The Challenge of Climate Change is a public media initiative from WNET in New York reporting on the human stories of climate change.

Richard W. DeKorte Park is a nationally recognized birding hotspot along the Atlantic Flyway with 3.5 miles of walking trails in the shadow of the Manhattan skyline, part of the Meadowlands region where over 285 bird species have been identified. It is managed by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

New Year brings a new amphibian!

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

by Allegra Mitchell, Wildlife Biologist

 

Each New Year promises an exciting year ahead, and conservation science is no exception! As biologists gear up for the field season, CWF’s amphibian programs are particularly noteworthy.

 

Our Amphibian Crossing Project has made major strides in protecting the frogs, toads, and salamanders migrating to breeding areas, and we’re launching a new program this year to better document the newly discovered mid-Atlantic coast leopard frog. You can help CWF biologists collect data and save these fragile creatures.

 

Read below for more details about each program. In the meantime, if you would like to support CWF’s amphibian programs, please visit our YouCaring page here: https://www.youcaring.com/conservewildlifefoundationofnewjersey-1091698 . Your contribution will help us develop training materials and cover research expenses to protect our most vulnerable frogs and salamanders!

 

Amphibian Crossing: A New Twist on an Old Program

The long-standing Amphibian Crossing Project, established in partnership with the New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) in 2002, has been organizing dedicated volunteers each spring to chauffer migrating amphibians across roads as they trek from their upland hibernation sites to their breeding ponds. This program has saved thousands of frogs, toads, and salamanders from vehicle strikes so that local amphibian population sizes can be maintained, which is especially important for species of concern, such as the Jefferson and spotted salamanders.

 

Seeking a more long-term solution to the amphibian road mortality problem at the Amphibian Crossing Project’s top site, ENSP has finally secured funding to construct crossing structure system for amphibians to move safely across Waterloo Road in Byram Township, Sussex County. This system, including under-road tunnels and guide fencing, will help amphibians avoid problems on the road all season long. CWF is preparing its second year of monitoring along Waterloo Road to track the changes in amphibian vehicle-caused mortality before and after this system is installed.

 

Leopard Frogs: A New Program for a New Species

This year marks the launch of CWF’s Kauffeld’s Calling Frogs program. Similar to New Jersey’s Calling Amphibian Monitoring Program (CAMP), volunteers will listen and document frog calls during the breeding season. Kauffeld’s Calling Frogs, however, will focus specifically on the newly discovered mid-Atlantic coast leopard frog. This frog, named after the late avid herpetologist Carl Kauffeld, had been mistaken as a member of the southern leopard frog species for decades. Only recently was it determined to be a separate species with unique habitat requirements.

 

Despite only being an official species since 2014, it is already considered a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in New York, and may be declining from other portions of its range. CWF biologists are eager to document the current extent of this frog’s range within New Jersey in order to monitor the population for possible declines. Knowing where this species is found is the foundation for future research into its habitat needs and threats.

 

Getting the Public Involved

These amphibian programs cannot move forward without the dedication of CWF volunteers. Over 100 volunteers have been involved with the Amphibian Crossing Project, and a dozen more dedicated at least a day a week for months to monitor Waterloo Road amphibian mortality. With the success of CAMP in mind, this first year of Kauffeld’s Calling Frogs promises to be full of new frog population discoveries.

 

Make sure to follow CWF on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates on our amphibian programs as the season progresses!

 

And consider supporting our YouCaring amphibian campaign here: https://www.youcaring.com/conservewildlifefoundationofnewjersey-1091698 .

Piping Plovers in the Bahamas

Monday, January 29th, 2018

Our Work isn’t Done – the Ongoing Importance of Band Resighting

 By Todd Pover, Senior Wildlife Biologist

Earlier in January, I attended the Abaco Science Alliance Conference to make a presentation about recent conservation and research developments for piping plovers in the Bahamas. This marks the eighth year, starting in 2011, either solo or with CWF staff and other colleagues, that I have been able to follow piping plovers to their wintering grounds in the Bahamas to conduct work to better understand and help recover this at-risk species. And in another sense, to be an international ambassador for piping plovers.

Todd Pover, CWF Senior Biologist, busy searching for piping plovers on the flats in the Bahamas

Over that time, the focus of those trips has varied widely, including conducting surveys for the International Piping Plover Census in 2011 and 2016, improving our understanding of how piping plovers use the various habitats, engaging students with our Shorebird Sister School Network from 2014-17, helping Friends of the Environment, our primary partner there, integrate piping plovers into their educational/school programs, building conservation partnerships, and even producing a video. Tremendous positive changes have occurred in that time with regard to awareness of and attitudes towards piping plovers in the Bahamas and some significant conservation progress has been made, most notably the establishment of several new national parks by the Bahamian government that help protect piping plovers and other shorebirds.

(more…)

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