Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Wildlife News’ Category

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.

(more…)

Senate Passes Bateman License Plate Bill to Protect Pollinators

Monday, September 7th, 2020

by Ethan Gilardi

Double pollination! Image by Krzysztof Niewolny from Pixabay.

New Jersey’s State Senate passed legislation this past August authorizing the creation of “Protect Pollinator” license plates with the aim of helping to protect New Jersey’s native pollinators.

Created by Kip Bateman (R) and co-sponsored by Linda Greenstein (D), the bill will require the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to create “Protect Pollinator” license plates, featuring a design and slogan that expresses support for New Jersey’s native pollinator animals.

“New Jersey would not be the Garden State without the help it gets from its native pollinators,” said Bateman. “From the gardens we grow to the produce we purchase at a local farmer’s market, many of our fruits, vegetables, and flowers rely on pollinators like bees and butterflies. The license plates will ensure our ‘Jersey Fresh’ plants and crops grow strong for generations.”

(more…)

Rescue of a Juvenile Bald Eagle

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

Blog written by Eagle Project volunteer, Frank Budney

On June 15th, 2020 a juvenile Bald Eagle was rescued in a most unlikely location; on a major highway, located in an industrial area of Union County. At first glance stories like this usually have an unfortunate ending, considering the location, but the timely arrival of a local Police Officer on patrol saved the day.

This is only part of the story. The eagle in question was one of two nestlings that hatched from a nearby nest back on March 24. Its sibling fledged sometime in late May or early June while this individual remained on nest, branching next to it but never attempting to fly. By June 14, the juvenile in question was still perched next to the nest with no indication that it was about to fly until the following morning when it was rescued.

Juvenile eagle at nest site June 14th, the day before rescue@ Frank Budney
(more…)

Swam with Dinosaurs and Famed for Caviar, Atlantic Sturgeon at risk in New Jersey

Monday, July 27th, 2020

Latest Podcast explores climate change threats to this ‘living fossil’  

by Milena Bimpong

Delaware State University professor Dr. Dewayne Fox and PhD student Matthew Breece weigh an adult Atlantic sturgeon. (Activities authorized under NMFS Permit No. 16507-01). © Delaware State University

A ‘living fossil’ today swims the Delaware River, having survived eons from the days of the dinosaurs through the caviar craze a century ago that nearly wiped it out for its roe, or valuable eggs.

However, as explored in the latest episode of State of Change – Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s regular podcast exploring climate change impacts on New Jersey wildlife –the Atlantic sturgeon faces an abundance of modern threats.

From a historic population of 360,000 adults, “Based on our best estimates, there’s less than 300 in the river. There’s less than 1 tenth of 1% that was there historically,” says Dewayne Fox, a professor of fisheries at Delaware State University. “The loss of one or two adults is a significant loss of spawning potential in the Delaware River.”

Among the largest river fishes in North America, the Atlantic sturgeon can grow up to 14 feet and weigh up to 800 pounds. One sturgeon from New Jersey is believed to have been over 1,000 pounds. The Atlantic sturgeon’s features indicate that their existence can be traced back to millions of years.

Yet that lengthy run was in jeopardy after facing ensuing perils of caviar harvesting and pollution.

(more…)

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.

(more…)