Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Get Involved’ Category

Help us to create a new website before time runs out! – Donate today and your gift will be matched dollar for dollar!

Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

by David Wheeler, Executive Director

Our website offers a unique look into the lives of at-risk wildlife species that
our viewers may otherwise never see, like watching the birth of the season’s
first baby osprey in real time on the Barnegat Light Osprey Cam.

Connecting people to nature through our website is a vital part of Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s mission. 

That’s why we have been thrilled by the record numbers of scientists, students, educators, and wildlife enthusiasts of all ages who have used this resource, especially since the start of the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of people like you are inspired and enlightened by viewing our species guide, our wildlife webcams, and our conservation project pages each year.

Now, however, our website needs a complete overhaul.

Our custom management system was ‘cutting edge’ when it was launched over 10 years ago, but it relies upon software that will be unsupported by the end of this year.

This fall, we must redesign our website and finally make it mobile-friendly! Viewers like you will benefit in many ways.  

  • Whether you are at home or on the go, more people than ever are accessing our website on your hand-held devices.
  • You have asked us to make it easier and quicker to report rare species, to access wildlife lesson plans, to register for events, to enter our contests, and to easily access our timely updates.
  • People of all ages can be inspired and educated by our compelling new videos, thought-provoking podcasts, vibrant photography, and insightful blog stories.

Generous supporters have offered to match the first $10,000 in gifts received, dollar for dollar, which means we need to raise $10,000 to reach our $20,000 goal.

Any amount you can give will help!

Our new custom-designed website is a major, long-term investment, and one we don’t take lightly. Even though $20,000 is a very fair market price, it’s still a huge outlay for a nonprofit like ours! But it’s a step we need to take.

Our website offers a great wealth of information to visitors like you – webcams, videos, podcasts, photos, field guides, and blog posts. But those expansive contents also demand an ample “back end” – the portion of the website that programmers code and manage. These thousands of files and countless lines of code make transforming our website especially challenging.

We can’t wait to better showcase our incredible wildlife photography and video to tell the stories of our work protecting species like bald eagles, diamondback terrapins, ospreys, bobcats, pollinators, and beach nesting birds.   

Thank you for all you do to help protect at-risk wildlife and spread the word about our natural world. I hope you will support our matching gift campaign to build a new website before time runs out.

Stay safe and healthy, and be sure to make time to enjoy nature this fall!

Save Your Seeds This Halloween!

Monday, October 12th, 2020

by Meaghan Lyon

Halloween is right around the corner and of course that means preparing for the age-old tradition of carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns. An event that brings joy to your household and trick or treaters on Halloween night can also be beneficial to wildlife! Instead of tossing the seeds and guts of your pumpkins into the trash, save the seeds to feed wildlife in your own backyard.

As the weather gets cooler and food becomes scarcer, wildlife species like migrating songbirds and small mammals seek out fall nuts and berries to help get them through the cold weather months. Migrating songbirds need energy to fuel their long migration south and molt into their winter plumage. Songbirds also need to store more fat to help resist the cold. Pumpkin seeds are full of essential nutrients and trace minerals that could be hard to come by in the winter.

Small mammals like squirrels and chipmunks can also benefit from pumpkin seeds. Although you may not see as many squirrels and chipmunks in the winter, they do not hibernate. Their activity slows down considerably in the winter and they rely on the food they stored in the fall. Food caching is a common practice among small mammals which allows them access to food when the ground is frozen or covered in snow. Additionally, pumpkin seeds are a healthy snack to help store fat for the winter.

There are many ways you could provide these seeds to wildlife. The pumpkin seeds can be added to a bird seed mix or just sprinkled on the ground. They do not need to be baked or dried, just left in a small bowl accessible to your backyard critters. If carving pumpkins is not your aesthetic, wildlife will also enjoy the pumpkin or squash in its entirety.

This is a great way to use every part of your Halloween pumpkins and be left with no waste! After Halloween, the pumpkins can also be composted at a local facility to help benefit the environment. Let’s make this year a Happy Halloween for communities and for wildlife!

Meaghan Lyon is a biologist with Conserve Wildlife Foundation. 

Help Us Continue the Inspiring Recovery of New Jersey’s Bald Eagles: The first $5,000 donated will be matched dollar for dollar!

Thursday, September 24th, 2020

by Larissa Smith, CWF Biologist

Photo by Barb McKee

None of us could have predicted what would happen in 2020, and that’s certainly true for New Jersey’s bald eagles.

When our eagle volunteers joined me at our kick-off training in February, we prepared as usual to monitor known nests and educate landowners and the public about the importance of minimizing disturbance to our breeding pairs.

We never imagined how important eagles would become to so many people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dozens of you shared the wonder you felt in seeing eagles fly overhead, some for the first time. Eagles became a sign of strength and resilience for those staying at home, as well as those venturing out to do essential work.

And New Jersey’s eagle population soared – both literally and figuratively – breaking records with more than 200 active nests (with eggs) and 300 young fledged – up from just one pair in the early 1980’s.

We can thank our devoted eagle volunteers for this year’s success, as well as the individual, foundation, and corporate supporters who came through with funding to support our tireless efforts.

Unfortunately, not everyone who gave in the past, or who expected to give this year, donated as planned. And we recently learned that we’re losing our largest project funder for the coming season.

That is why I’m asking you to donate today to help CWF raise $10,000 to help cover the shortfall. Two generous donors have each put up a $2,500 match, which means that the first $5,000 donated will be matched dollar for dollar.

While having the best season on record is exciting news for all of us, important work remains to be done. Eagles still face serious threats of habitat loss and disturbance. The increasing population will require an even larger team of trained volunteers to observe nesting behavior and determine egg laying, hatching, and fledging dates. It also means an increase in the number of injured eagles which will need help. All of this takes time and resources.

For my part, I’m happiest when I’m outside working with bald eagles as I have for 20 years. After all, I’m a biologist, not a fundraiser! But in this case, I’m reaching out to ask for your support for the Eagle Project. We have overcome financial challenges in the past with the help of people like you. Whether you have always supported this project, or have newfound appreciation for these majestic raptors, please help us to ensure that this incredible success story continues to inspire all of us!

Thank you and stay safe.

Learn more about CWF’s Bald Eagle Project here.

Learn more about New Jersey EagleTrax here.

Watch the CWF/Duke Farms Eagle Cam here.

Meet the Interns: Get to Know the Young Biologists Helping Out At CWF

Saturday, August 8th, 2020

By Morgan Mark, CWF Intern

Biologist Allegra Mitchell works with CWF interns to record plant species and quantity during a bog turtle survey,

When every work day feels like an adventure out of Charles Darwin’s pocket diaries, you know you are living a conservationist’s dream. Thanks to the Conserve Wildlife Foundation, interns like me have the amazing opportunity to realize our childhood aspirations to study and protect wildlife, and we can do so right in our own neighborhoods and communities.

Here are the current CWF interns and what we’ve been up to!


Summer Series: Join Us for Virtual Wildlife Events

Sunday, May 17th, 2020

Wildlife takes center stage this summer in a series of virtual presentations.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation and Mercer County Park Commission will present four one-hour webinars this summer, focusing on wildlife that affects our lives, even in an urbanized environment.