Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Barnegat Light’

Two are sometimes better than three

Thursday, October 7th, 2021
A season of change and hope at the Barnegat Light Osprey Cam.

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

The “new” female at the BL Osprey Cam. April 5, 2021. Note the small dark fleck on her right iris.

By far, this was the most viewed season of the Barnegat Light Osprey Cam, with over 360,000 views and 111,000 hours watched! It was a season of change. Viewers throughout the world watched as the mated pair successfully fledged two healthy young. We witnessed the trials and tribulations of a new pair, especially the female, who we believe attempted reproduction for the first time in her life. We saw that life as a young osprey was not always guaranteed, which is something we rarely get to witness but know is quite common at many nests throughout the world; however, with an experienced male and plentiful prey, the surviving young thrived. As we work on a season long highlight video, here is a brief summary of their nesting season.

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A Tribute to Bobby “Twist” Jetton: 2020 Barnegat Light Osprey Cam

Friday, March 19th, 2021

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

During the peak of my field season last year I exchanged emails with a kind man who reported terrapins nesting in his yard. He wanted to do everything he could to ensure their success. A couple weeks later Bobby reached out to say how much him and mom loved the Barnegat Light Osprey Cam and how “the birds generally wake her up before her alarm.” He also mentioned how she delayed gardening because “dad is due with a fish any minute now. I’m just waiting to note the time then I’ll go play.” She was contributing observations of prey deliveries for research we conducted at the BL Osprey Cam last summer.

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CWF In The News: Eastern Coyote, Friend or Foe to LBI? Conservationists Weigh In

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

by Ethan Gilardi, Wildlife Biologist

A resting coyote with typical coloration. Photo by John Picken.

The expansion of Eastern Coyotes (Canis latrans x lycaon) throughout the northeastern United States has been a cause for alarm in some communities, but are they as dangerous as some fear?

A particularly adaptable wild canid, the eastern coyote is distinct from their western cousins and is considered to be a hybrid species, created when western coyotes and other wolf species, like the eastern wolf, interbred in the early 1900s. This new larger coyote species has been able to expand its territory out from its central/western roots and can now be found along much of the eastern coast of the United States.

The eastern coyote’s presence on our coasts now finds itself at odds with the humans who call these more cosmopolitan coastal areas their home, like on Long Beach Island where increasing coyote sightings over the past few years are beginning to worry residents.

Monique M. Demopoulos of TheSandpaper.net reached out to Conserve Wildlife New Jersey for a conservationist’s perspective.

CWF Habitat Program Manager Ben Wurst and Executive Director David Wheeler gave their thoughts in the article published on March 11th.

Reading read the full story over on TheSandpaper.net!

It is uncertain how endangered piping plovers, seen here at Barnegat Light, will be impacted by the coyote presence. (Photo by Ryan Morrill)

Want to learn more about eastern coyotes and their ecology here in New Jersey?

Watch David Wheeler’s Living with Eastern Coyotes: The Incredible Story of our Newest Wild Neighbors over on the CWF YouTube channel!


Barnegat Light Habitat Restoration gets a “Touch-up”

Thursday, February 4th, 2021

by Todd Pover, Senior Wildlife Biologist

A bulldozer trims back vegetation as a part of maintenance at the Barnegat Light Habitat Restoration site.

Even though all the major construction at our Barnegat Light Habitat Restoration site was complete over the past two winters, CWF returned in January 2021 to help oversee a “touch up”.  Beach nesting birds, such as piping plovers, prefer open, lightly vegetated beaches to nest, and in two years the vegetation had filled in quickly at the site. Using a bulldozer, the thicker vegetation was trimmed back or as the machine operator said, we gave it a “haircut”.

At the same time, the shallow edges of the foraging pond were enhanced. The pond, in particular a portion engineered to mimic “foraging flats”, was a key part of the success of piping plovers during the 2020 breeding season. We were able to expand that feature in hopes of providing even more high value foraging opportunities in years to come.

Initial construction was obviously the most important step to make this long-anticipated project a reality, but ongoing maintenance is an important part of any restoration, as habitat, especially in the dynamic coastal zone, rarely remains static. Still, follow-up maintenance is often overlooked or underfunded, but we know it will be absolutely critical as a long-term measure at Barnegat Light to sustain quality nesting habitat and high reproductive success.

The work this winter was done in tandem with Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, our primary technical partner on the project. A special thanks to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Philadelphia District for funding and facilitating the maintenance construction. We also greatly appreciate the ongoing partnership on this project of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – New Jersey Field Office and State of New Jersey’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program.

Todd Pover is a biologist with Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Beach Restoration Project Shows Promise for Piping Plovers at Barnegat Light

Saturday, July 4th, 2020
Piping plover chick feeding at the restoration-created pond.  Photo courtesy of Northside Jim.

Last winter the Conserve Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with Rutgers University, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service, and New Jersey Fish & Wildlife’s Endangered and Non-Game Species Program, completed the final stages of a beach restoration project in Barnegat Light State Park.

The project, which broke ground the winter before last, aimed to create more ideal habitat for the endangered piping plover away from human disturbance at Barnegat Light’s more recreationally busy beaches. This was accomplished by removing vegetation, grading dunes to be more suitable for nesting, and creating alternative feeding sites (i.e. ephemeral pools).

Now, with the beach nesting bird season at its peak and the final stages of the project complete, we can start to assess the effectiveness of the work that has been done.

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