Conserve Wildlife Blog

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NJ.com: Number of birdstrikes on the rise in N.J.

Friday, December 7th, 2018
Story by Ted Sherman, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Photo Credit: NJ.com

Nearly 10 years ago, a US Airways flight out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport memorably ended up in the Hudson River after striking a flock of Canada geese and losing engine power just northeast of the George Washington Bridge.

The passengers and flight crew survived the so-called “Miracle on the Hudson.” But each year, thousands of planes meet up with birds and other wildlife, and those numbers are growing in New Jersey.

In 2017, there was 366 reports of wildlife strikes in New Jersey. That was up from 326 in 2016. Among those incidents included a September 2017 crash of an ultralight aircraft in Cumberland County, after its pilot was forced to bank hard after a flock of small birds entered his flightpath. A moment later, a larger bird struck the support cable on his right wing and he tried to touch down to check for damage. Hitting the ground hard, the kite-like plane was substantially damaged.

David Wheeler, executive director of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation  of New Jersey, said the increasing number of bird strikes in New Jersey  may be a matter of better reporting, as well as the increasing number of flights in the Northeast.

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Conserving the Nature of the Northeast Blog: Restoration brings back red knots, piping plovers & saltmarsh sparrows

Thursday, December 6th, 2018
Story by Darci Palmquist, Conserving the Nature of the Northeast

A saltmarsh sparrow photographed in Delaware. Credit: Matt Tillett, creative commons.

Even if you’re not a birder, there are a lot of reasons to care about birds. There are of course their aesthetic qualities — beautiful, charming, euphonious — and their incredible feats of survival as small creatures in a big, ever-changing world.

But like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, when birds aren’t doing well it usually means their habitat is suffering in some way. And if the habitat isn’t functioning, people lose out too; on the benefits that nature provides, from clean air and water to storm defenses.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Fish and Wildlife Service invested in restoring and protecting natural systems up and down the East Coast that provide important habitat for wildlife while also creating natural defenses for people. A big part of building this stronger coast is making sure that wildlife like shorebirds have the habitat they need — the marshes, beaches and dunes — to nest, feed and raise their young.

Here are stories of how restoration efforts are helping ensure a brighter future for three bird species — red knotpiping plover and saltmarsh sparrow.

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Star Ledger: Earth’s wildlife is disappearing – and NJ is at risk for the same

Monday, November 12th, 2018
by Michael Sol Warren, NJ.com

Photo: NJ.com

The world’s wildlife is dying off.

That’s the main takeaway from a new report released earlier this week. The 2018 edition of the Living Planet Report, published by the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London, found that the population size of some of the world’s vertebrate species had shrunk by 60 percent between 1970 and 2014.

Though tropical species have suffered the most, according to the report, the rash of wildlife decline hits home in the Garden State.

“It mirrors what we see in New Jersey,” said David Wheeler, the executive director of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

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Founding Member of The Raptor Trust Diane Soucy Honored for Legacy in Conservation

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

As one of the founding members of The Raptor Trust in Millington, New Jersey, Women & Wildlife Legacy Honoree Diane Soucy has been there to provide input for every important decision. Close to 130,000 songbirds, wading birds, waterfowl, hummingbirds, raptors, and other birds have been admitted to The Raptor Trust. From much of the bird rehabilitation, to the administrative matters like bylaws and thank you letters, to the countless personal sacrifices she has made over decades, nearly everything about the Raptor Trust has gone through Diane.

For over 50 years now, Diane has devoted her life to the rehabilitation of wild birds. She has inspired thousands of people who have called or passed through the doors of The Raptor Trust, looking for help with an injured or orphaned wild bird. For years, she and her husband, Len Soucy, were the sole providers of the Raptor Trust, financing all of the aviaries and supplies completely on their own.

Diane has handled more patients and been responsible for more successful bird releases in New Jersey than anyone else at the Raptor Trust. Before there were any standards for wildlife rehabilitation, Diane developed successful songbird diets and recipes, through trial and error, which have been shared, replicated, improved upon, and used for decades throughout the larger wildlife rehabilitation community. Diane has been there every step of the way at The Raptor Trust, working as the default secretary, behind-the-scenes adviser and manager. At a time when the phrase “wildlife rehabilitation” didn’t even exist, Diane and her husband were working to develop techniques which would later become the best practices in the field. (more…)

The Nature Conservancy’s Beth Styler Barry Honored for Leadership in Conservation

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Beth Styler Barry, River Restoration Manager for The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey, is the 2018 Women & Wildlife Leadership Honoree. Beth has selflessly devoted her professional career to keeping our waterways clean and habitable for wildlife. Beth has worked as a volunteer, member and Executive Director for the Musconetcong Watershed Association for over 15 years. Through all of this work, Beth guided a small organization to become a beacon for watershed associations and the poster child for small environmental nonprofits.

One of her key accomplishments has been the successful removal of five dams on the Musconetcong River. The removal of these dams opened the waterway to anadromous fish and improved the water quality for all forms of aquatic life. She currently oversees the Columbia Dam project on the Paulins Kill, which will be the largest dam removal in New Jersey to date. (more…)

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