Conserve Wildlife Blog

March 25th, 2020

Meet the 2020 Species on the Edge 2.0 Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s Species on the Edge 2.0 social media contest for New Jersey high school students.

Students from all over the state took part in the contest by creating a series of social media posts focusing on one of New Jersey’s vulnerable species. The contest gives students the chance to use their social media skills, and knowledge of wildlife biology, to help imperiled species.

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March 13th, 2020

An eagle nest tree reused and an eagle viewing site refurbished.

2020 nest in original Sycamore tree @ Jim McClain

The Stow Creek Viewing platform was built and installed in 1990 along the Stow Creek in Cumberland County. In 1990 there were only four eagle nests in New Jersey. The Stow Creek pair built their nest in a large sycamore tree in an active farm field. The Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program built the viewing platform across the creek, and it was featured in the first New Jersey Wildlife Viewing Guide. This beautiful site gave the public a safe spot to view nesting eagles without disturbing them.

In 2005, the eagle pair moved to a new location about 1 mile away along the Canton Drain, inside an active blue heron rookery and have nested there ever since. The sycamore tree remained empty until this season when a new pair of eagles built a nest in the tree.

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March 5th, 2020

Bald Eagle Project 2020 Nesting Season Update

The 2020 nesting season is off to a good start for New Jersey’s bald eagles. As of early March, eagles all over the state are incubating eggs, and a handful of nests have already successfully hatched chicks. The eagle cam at Duke Farms broadcast the first chick there hatching on February 26, and the second chick made its appearance on March 1st.

View of hatchlings from the webcam at Duke Farms

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March 3rd, 2020

The Terrapin’s Troubles, State of Change Podcast, Episode 4

The diamondback terrapin is one of the most beloved species of New Jersey’s coastal salt marshes. Their popularity has not protected them from the rapid development of our coast however, and climate change is calling their future into question. 

Terrapin and human interaction has been fraught with peril for the turtles for a long time. They used to be considered a delicacy and were almost wiped by the 1920s when, in an odd turn of events, they were saved by prohibition. Turns out that once terrapin stew no longer featured copious amounts of alcohol, people noticed they did not, in fact, taste very good. 

The fourth episode of our podcast, State of Change, “The Terrapin’s Troubles” features John Wnek, Project Terrapin coordinator and supervisor and researcher at the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES), and Ben Wurst, Conserve Wildlife Foundation (CWF) habitat program manager.

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February 24th, 2020

Ospreys Continue to Thrive in New Jersey

Results from 2019 Osprey Nest Surveys highlight another productive year.

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

An osprey nest in a snag on Barnegat Bay. July 2019.

Surveys of osprey nests in New Jersey have occurred annually for the past forty five years. They are conducted to help determine the overall size and health of the population. The first aerial survey over Barnegat Bay counted only five active nests. Ten years earlier there had been over 50. The combined effects of DDT and habitat loss had taken their toll. No osprey nests were productive and the population at risk of being extirpated from the state.

“In 1974 there were only five active osprey nests on Barnegat Bay. Today there are approximately one hundred and fifty.”

After ospreys were listed as endangered an innovative effort to transplant viable eggs from the Chesapeake Bay to Barnegat Bay began. In addition, to help replace natural nest sites that were lost to development, man-made nest platforms were designed and installed away from human disturbance. Slowly osprey pairs became productive thanks to the die hard effort of State biologists like Pete McLain, Kathy Clark and many volunteers and partners. It’s encouraging for us to look back to see how far we’ve come in the statewide recovery of ospreys in New Jersey.

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