Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘2012’

Volunteers needed!

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Since 2009, we’ve been active in helping to restore wildlife habitat to a former golf course in lower Cape May County. In place of the large lodge on the site we are building a “Backyard Habitat Demonstration Site.” It will feature several different habitat treatments that homeowners can use to provide habitat for wildlife in their own backyards. It includes the creation of scrub-shrub habitat, forested habitat, nectar producing plants, wildflower meadows, a pond, and a brush pile.

The site was designed by landscape designer Jeanne Marcucci with greenjean gardens LLC. Last week the site was prepped by NJ Fish & Wildlife. After the site was plowed we laid out paths that run throughout the site. Next compost will be spread to some areas (wildflower beds) and plants will be delivered on October 9th. The team at Planet Earth Landscaping will be assisting us the the compost spreading and planting.

Volunteers are needed to help plant the many native plants that were ordered on October 10-11th from 10-2pm each day. For more information or to volunteer contact Ben Wurst.

The site where 2,700 native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses will be planted for wildlife near Villas, NJ.

Have You Seen This Bird?

Monday, October 1st, 2012

By Michael Davenport, Marine Species & GIS Programs Manager

Young barn owls. Photo by MacKenzie Hall.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation staff work with the New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) to manage and populate the state’s official database of rare wildlife, known as Biotics.  Currently, this database contains over 35,000 animal and plant records within New Jersey.  ENSP and CWF currently collect and enter data for the state’s 173 endangered, threatened, and special concern species.

There are several species of birds for which more observation data would be useful; and it’s likely that birdwatchers or other nature watchers may have the data needed.  Most good birdwatchers keep logs of what they’ve observed, when, and where.  It would be helpful if anyone with detailed observation data for the species listed at the end of this blog could submit their data for potential inclusion in the Biotics database.

To submit your observation data, please complete a Rare Wildlife Sighting Report Form.  The form is available on ENSP’s website for download as well as instructions for completing the form (a map must be attached when submitted).  In addition to the species listed below, please feel free to submit one or more forms for any of the state’s endangered, threatened, or special concern species.  A complete list of all of the species tracked by the state can be downloaded here.

If you have a large amount of data to submit, please contact Mike Davenport of Conserve Wildlife Foundation at (609) 292-3795 – alternative data submission options may be available (such as submitting Excel spreadsheets or GIS files).

Barn Owl (Tyto alba)
Nashville Warbler (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)
Saltmarsh Sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus)
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis)

Photo from the Field

Monday, September 24th, 2012
Enhancing nesting habitat for ospreys

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Last week we successfully installed an osprey nesting platform on the Manasquan Reservoir. The reservoir supplies water to residents of Monmouth County and can supply up to 30 million gallons of water a day. It’s also home to a variety of wildlife, such as bald eagles, osprey, waterfowl, freshwater mussels, and many other species. Since it’s creation in the early 1990s the many snags offered potential nest sites for ospreys; however, today many of the snags are falling down. The last nest site for ospreys broke in the winter of 2010-11. It was near the environmental center at the reservoir and offered visitors a close view of their nest and reproductive cycle. Since the nest tree broke no pairs have nested on the reservoir. (more…)

What did you do this summer?

Thursday, September 13th, 2012
Experience gained; many terrapins saved!

by Kristin Ryerson, CWF Terrapin Project Intern

Kristin prepares to release the injured terrapin her Dad found on Rt. 72. Photo courtesy Kristin Ryerson

“What did you do this summer?” was a question I was frequently asked by family, friends and classmates when I recently returned to college this fall. Well, where to begin! Ben Wurst, CWF’s Habitat Program Manager, set a goal this summer to lower the number of road killed Northern Diamondback Terrapins on Great Bay Boulevard in Tuckerton, NJ. In previous studies, 50 terrapins could be killed in one nesting season—the main cause? People. Careless drivers who are either speeding or simply oblivious to the many yellow signs warning them of crossing nesting terrapins and the fact that they are in the middle of an extremely vital wildlife refuge. So, this summer, I had the privilege of being the Great Bay Terrapin Project’s Intern, and my job was to help save nesting terrapins crossing the road and to take valuable data on those I saw. Ben gave me some equipment and the knowledge I would need when working on the road. Through road patrols, educating the public, maintaining the previously installed barrier fencing, painting road signs and data collection, I learned more than I had imagined and had an amazing experience.


Marine Debris

Thursday, September 6th, 2012
Threatens NJ’s wildlife

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Trash collected from 112 osprey nests from as far north as Monmouth and south to Atlantic City, New Jersey. © Ben Wurst

Marine debris (specifically plastics) have become a  serious problem in coastal areas throughout the world, especially in the Pacific Ocean where gyres create large floating “garbage patches.” I work out on the back bays and salt marshes throughout the coastal region of New Jersey as I help to monitor and manage ospreys and their nesting platforms. Every time I’m out I encounter trash. Most of it accumulates along the wrack line on the higher portions of the marsh where storm surges, high winds, and during spring tides (during full and new moon phases) push it onto the marsh. This debris then makes its way into the nests of ospreys because this is where they collect most of their nesting material.