Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Wildlife News’ Category

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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New Jersey’s Wildlife in the Time of COVID-19 – Part 2

Sunday, May 31st, 2020

by David Wheeler

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 here, and check out our podcast on COVID-19 and wildlife.

Wildlife from your Window

We have received more reports than ever from people seeing wildlife species they hadn’t seen before, and behaviors they had never previously observed, much of it from their own yards. People are tending to gardens more than ever before, and enjoying seeing the attendant pollinators.

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New Jersey’s Wildlife in the Time of COVID-19 – Part 1

Friday, May 29th, 2020

by David Wheeler

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 will explore the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown on wildlife in New Jersey and across the world. Be sure to also check out our podcast on COVID-19 and wildlife.

From my car window, I observed as many red foxes in a recent week as I had seen in the previous year combined. And it wasn’t just fox I was seeing more of. Wild turkeys, raccoons, migratory songbirds – I was seeing them all in greater abundance since the COVID-19 pandemic restricted most of us to our homes for nearly all of our waking hours.

A red fox kit with his mother.
Photo from www.johnentwistlephotography.com
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Amphibian Crossing Project on PBS EcoSense for Living

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

Wildlife habitats all over the country have been broken into ever smaller pieces by human development, making it challenging for animals to safely find food, mates or a place to make a nest or den. This is especially true in New Jersey, which has more people per square mile than any other state by far.

The PBS EcoSense for Living episode ”Wildlife Crossings” has captured the challenges habitat fragmentation poses to wildlife, along with the amazing work that scientists, engineers, and wildlife managers are doing to help. Projects supporting New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey (CHANJ) initiative, including CWF’s Amphibian Crossing Project, are featured beginning at 14:10.

On warm, rainy spring evenings salamanders, frogs and toads venture out for the most eventful nights of their year. They have but one goal – to make it to a vernal pool to breed. But between them and the pool is a road, filled with cars barreling along, completely oblivious to their big plans.

A single vehicle can crush dozens of these slow-moving animals as they try to make it across the road. From the driver’s seat they may look like mere twigs, leaves, or raindrops bouncing off the road. With high mortality rates year after year, it doesn’t take long for a population to nose-dive.

The Amphibian Crossing Program helps hundreds of salamanders, frogs and toads make that hazardous journey so they can have their big night. We are also assisting NJDFW in preparing for a wildlife crossing structure system consisting of under-road tunnels and guide fencing to help amphibians at our busiest migration site.

Successful “critter crossings” at this priority site could pave the way for many other projects, allowing salamanders, frogs, and toads (as well as snakes, turtles, and other small animals) to safely and independently cross between their upland habitats and breeding pools each spring. To see how the Amphibian Crossing Project fits in with other statewide projects supporting wildlife habitat connectivity see Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey (CHANJ).

Want to help? Volunteers for the Amphibian Crossing Project must complete a training session. If you are interested in being a part of next year’s project, please contact allegra.mitchell@conservewildlifenj.org.

Resources

Earth Day 2020: 50 Years of Perseverance

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day in the spirit of resilience and recovery. Today we thank the countless biologists, volunteers, educators, and supporters who have played a critical role in the survival of so many of our rare wildlife species. Together, we will continue to stay strong and save wildlife.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation executive director David Wheeler brings you on an uplifting journey through the environmental progress we have made since the very first Earth Day in 1970, with a special focus on wildlife – and its importance to us in this challenging time of pandemic and social restrictions.

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