Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

WILDLIFE WEDNESDAYS SUMMER PROGRAM MAKES A SPLASH FOR ASBURY PARK STUDENTS

Friday, August 7th, 2020

by Morgan Mark, CWF Intern

CWF took Asbury Park School students on a virtual field trip to the Sedge Island Natural Resource Education Center in Barnegat Bay.

Asbury Park elementary schoolers participating in the district’s Summer Enrichment Program have had a wild reason to look forward to Wednesdays this summer – Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s virtual Wildlife Explorers Program sponsored by New Jersey Natural Gas. 

CWF Director of Education Stephanie DAlessio has been teaching students about the wildlife that lives, breeds, and migrates in their community. Virtual field trips, engaging lessons, and live webcams have exposed elementary schoolers to a gamut of topics ranging from oystercatcher adaptations to ocean litter.

This two-month curriculum reinforces the Asbury Park School District’s emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) and gives students access to nature right from their own homes. To participate in activities authentic to biologists, students have been recording weekly observations and data in science field journals, holding meaningful discussions about the environment, and completing at-home activities.

“New Jersey Natural Gas has been involved in the Asbury Park community for nearly 70 years,” said Tom Hayes, the Director of Customer and Community Relations. “Strengthening sustainability and engagement in our communities, especially educating about our environment, are the main focus of our community involvement, so this is exactly the type of program we are excited to be a partner on.”

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Is that spinach? No, it’s rare seabeach amaranth!

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

By Michele S. Byers

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation doesn’t just work with organisms of the furry, feathered, and scaly varieties, we also work with NJ’s threatened and endangered plan life! Michele S. Byers recently highlighted CWF’s contribution to surveys of the rare and endangered seabeach amaranth on CentralJersey.com.

Check out the excerpt below and read more on CentralJersey.com!


If you are lucky enough to walk on the beach this summer, you may notice a plant that looks like spinach growing in the bare sand, apart from sea grass and other dune vegetation.

Don’t step on it! It could be the rare seabeach amaranth (Amaranthus pumilus) that is making a comeback in New Jersey.

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Species On The Edge 2.0 Contest Winners Honored In Live-streamed Virtual Awards Ceremony

Monday, June 29th, 2020

by Morgan Mark, CWF Intern

Virtual award ceremony participants from left to right: (top row) CWF Executive Director David Wheeler, PSEG Foundation Chairman Rick Thigpen, CWF Director of Education Stephanie DAlessio, Third Place Winner Lauren Johnson, First Place Winner Virginia Higgins, and Second Place Winner Rory Leadbeater

If you browse through social media, you will find some incredibly creative and effective ways to help imperiled wildlife. You might be compelled by calls-to-action, experience stunning photographs, or may even discover posts about New Jersey’s vulnerable species that—thanks to talented New Jersey high schoolers—got their share of screen time, likes, and retweets during the Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s (CWF) fifth annual Species on the Edge 2.0 Social Media contest.

One of the winning Instagram posts by Virginia Higgins, highlighting the diets of Piping Plovers.

Over the course of 8 days, hundreds of students from across the state created Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook posts about animals that the CWF protects. Through campaigns that featured original artwork, photos, and infographics, contestants took the internet by storm, rose awareness about their chosen species, and garnered nearly 12,000 likes. 

The three finalists were celebrated on June 18 in a Facebook Live virtual awards ceremony. The PSEG Foundation sponsored the contest and provided scholarships to the winners.

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Covid-19 and Wildlife, State of Change Podcast, episode 6

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
CWF biologist Ben Wurst (above), and all our staff and volunteers are practicing social distancing and following all state and CDC guidelines while in the field to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing global shutdowns, how has wildlife reacted to the absence of humans in New Jersey – and across the world? What impacts are we seeing so far, and what should we expect in the long-term?

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NEW JERSEY’S WILDLIFE IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 – PART 3

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

by David Wheeler, Executive Director

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 explores the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown on wildlife in New Jersey and across the world. Read Part 1 and Part 2 and check out our podcast on COVID-19 and wildlife.

Part 3 The Threat of COVID-19

No discussion of COVID-19’s impact on wildlife would be complete with its fated beginning and its long-term threats posed by the global economic shutdown. As a zoonotic disease, COVID-19 likely was triggered by a virus in bats that got into a pangolin in a wet market that was then consumed by people, chance encounters made much more likely by a number of destructive human activities.

Clearing primal forests bring people into contact with remote wildlife for the first time, while also changing wildlife behaviors to increase the likelihood of their interaction with humans. Live animal markets offer ideal opportunities for viruses like COVID-19 to emerge. Illegal trafficking incentivizes further habitat clearing and poaching. Trading in exotic wildlife creates a host of problems both to the species themselves and to their ecosystems. (Though underexplored in the popular Tiger King series, the impacts of the exotic wildlife trade could make a fascinating series in its own right).

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