Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Reptiles’ Category

CWF In The News: WOBM 92.7 highlights Great Bay turtle garden

Monday, December 7th, 2020
A female terrapin pauses while crossing Great Bay Blvd in Little Egg Harbor, NJ.

Shawn Michaels from WOBM News 92.7 recently visited the Conserve Wildlife Foundation and New Jersey Fish & Wildlife managed Great Bay Terrapin Habitat Enhancement Project and took the time to share his thoughts and some pictures from his visit.

Thank you Shawn for spreading information about our project and sharing these wonderful photos of the turtle garden!

You can read an except from the article below.


Photo by Shawn Michaels

If you live here at the Jersey Shore then there is a good chance you have seen a turtle or two trying to cross the road. This project ”turtle gardens” is located on the bay in Little Egg Harbor Township on Seven Bridges Road. The purpose is to give area turtles a place to lay eggs that’s out of harm’s way.

This is a fantastic project to help turtles which often are hit by cars trying to find areas to lay eggs. You may have seen signs around the Jersey Shore ”turtle crossing” to alert you to watch for turtles on area roadways usually late spring through summer.

Click here to read more: This is a fantastic project the ”Turtle Garden”

CWF In The News: Conserve Wildlife Foundation Reports Turtle Garden Success

Friday, September 18th, 2020

by Ethan Gilardi

A rehabilitated adult female northern diamondback terrapin that was released in late 2009 after being injured by a motor vehicle along Great Bay Blvd. © Ben Wurst

Northern Diamondback Terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin) are a native species of New Jersey turtle, inhabiting the brackish waters of the state’s coastal salt marshes and estuaries. The survival of the species depends on the ability of female turtles to access safe nesting habitat every summer, a struggle for the species these days with roadways disconnecting large swaths of their habitat. To help give females a better chance of successfully reproducing, CWF partnered with New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife last year to create a half-acre “turtle garden” at a former marina within the Great Bay Wildlife Management Area.

CWF Habitat Manager Ben Wurst took Pat Johnson of TheSandpaper.net to the site recently to survey the success of this new turtle garden and walk through what it takes to save a species like the diamondback terrapin.

Check out the except below!


It’s diamondback terrapin hatching season in the newest turtle garden established by the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey in the Great Bay Wildlife Management Area. Project Manager Ben Wurst has been monitoring the 50 or so nests that were created this spring to protect them from predators so the hatchlings could have a fighting chance of survival.

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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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New Terrapin Garden Grows in Little Egg Harbor

Monday, July 20th, 2020

By Pat Johnson

Two year old terrapin. we found on the road shoulder.

CWF Habitat Manager Ben Wurst is known first and foremost for his work with New Jersey’s resident Osprey population. The job of a habitat manager doesn’t stop with ospreys, however. Ben’s work creating gardens for Diamondback Terrapins to safely nest in was recently the spotlight of an article by Pat Johnson of The Sand Paper.

Check out the excerpt below and read more on TheSandPaper.net!


Like tiny air raid shelters, protective cages sheltering the terrapin nests along Great Bay Boulevard in Little Egg Harbor keep them safe from predators, among them crows and gulls from the air and foxes and raccoons on the ground. The Great Bay Boulevard Terrapin Habitat Project site, commonly called the terrapin garden by its founder, Ben Wurst, habitat project manager for the Conservation Foundation of New Jersey, already has at least 50 nests on its sandy beach next to the salt marsh.

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Looking for the shy bog turtle

Monday, June 1st, 2020

by: Meaghan Fogarty, Conserve Wildlife Foundation Intern

Photo by Eric Sambol

Note: For the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and the communities where we work, CWF staff and volunteers are practicing social distancing and following all state and CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


Two days before Governor Murphy announced the statewide stay-at-home order, the first day of spring had sprung. Human life came to a screeching halt, but the natural world nevertheless began its annual transition towards warmer weather, longer days, and new life.

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