Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey’

Ending the Year 2022 With Gratitude

Friday, December 30th, 2022

With 2022 coming to a close, Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s staff took a moment to reflect on what they were thankful for this year at work and with regards to New Jersey’s wildlife.

The CWF team (Board and staff) enjoyed a holiday celebration at Flying Fish Brewery.

I’m thankful for New Jersey’s incredible wildlife and my role in protecting so many at-risk species. I owe my greatest appreciation, however, to the dedicated people who carry out and support CWF’s work to strengthen wildlife populations and educate the next generation of environmental stewards. Our Board and staff are truly extraordinary at what they do, and our contributors, volunteers, and partners make all our success stories possible. 

-Liz Silvernail, CWF Executive Director

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CWF is Back in the Classroom at Ridge Street Elementary (Newark, NJ)

Wednesday, December 28th, 2022

by Rachel McGovern, Director of Education

Educators and biologists at Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey are leading educational programs at Ridge Street Elementary School in Newark, New Jersey, for the eighth consecutive year. Comprehensive STEAM curricula that follow New Jersey State Learning Standards for Science were developed by CWF staff for grades K, 3, 5 and 6. These curricula provide a series of classroom lessons, projects, and field trips focused on New Jersey’s wildlife.

While delivery of this program, entitled “Soaring With STEAM,” was adapted to a virtual learning environment during the pandemic, this 2022-23 school year has been presented entirely in-person, allowing staff to meaningfully interact with students and teachers in the classroom.    

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In Search of Stumpy – A Wintering Piping Plover Adventure

Wednesday, December 21st, 2022

By Todd Pover, Senior Wildlife Biologist

Earlier this summer, it was announced that the annual range-wide American oystercatcher meeting would be held in December on the Gulf Coast of Florida near Naples. Thrilled to finally be attending in-person after several pandemic years of virtual meetings, my mind immediately pivoted to what other nearby nature sites I could also visit. Or more specifically and not too surprising for those that know me…where could I go to view wintering piping plovers.

In late September, Hurricane Ian made a direct landing in this region of Florida. The meeting had to be scuttled, relocated to the Georgia coast. And just like that, my “add-on” plans – I had arranged a short trip to Outback Key about two hours north of the meeting – fell off the itinerary.

Or maybe not. Georgia borders Florida, right? Six hours of driving for a chance to see 50-60 piping plovers in one spot is reasonable, right? Did I mention at least one New Jersey breeder winters at the site?

So as soon as the oystercatcher meeting wrapped at mid-day, I found myself in a car, along with fellow CWF Biologist Emmy Casper, hurtling toward St. Petersburg, Florida. We arrived at nightfall, woke in what felt like a flash, so we could wait in a line of cars, still in the dark, for Fort DeSoto County Park to open at 7 am. We had a very narrow window for our visit with the morning low tide being optimal shorebird viewing at Outback Key and because we had mid-day flights home.

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Ongoing Grassland Restoration Efforts Improve Conditions for Grassland Nesting Birds

Tuesday, December 20th, 2022

by Meaghan Lyon, Wildlife Biologist

Over the past five years, long term efforts have been ongoing to complete a large-scale grassland restoration at the McGuire Airfield. So far, roughly 500 acres have been treated and seeded to encourage the growth of native warm season grasses with another 100 acres to be completed by next spring. The planting of species like little bluestem, sideoats grama, and blue grama has helped to create grassland bird nesting habitat and conserve existing habitat, while accommodating necessary airfield procedures and safety.

Keeping the vegetation on the airfield short is important to ensure airport safety and to achieve that goal, the fields must be mowed. When the vegetation reaches 12-14 inches, the area is mowed back down to 7 inches. The vegetation before the start of the restoration project was a mix of native and non-native woody, forb, and grass species, with some plants growing at a faster rate than others. The quicker these plants grow, the more frequent mowing must occur. It’s for this reason why native warm season grasses were planted, which have a slower growth rate and tend not to grow more than 12-14 inches. By planting these species and reducing mowing frequency, the grassland birds have less disturbance and human impacts on their nesting season.

This work is done in cooperation with the USFWS New Jersey Field Office, and grassland bird surveys are completed throughout the summer to monitor success. Stay tuned to learn more about our grassland bird results for the 2022 breeding season.

Vegetation must be mowed when grasses exceed 12 inches.

E-17 “Oran” Sighted Alive & Well

Tuesday, December 6th, 2022

by: Larissa Smith, CWF Senior Biologist

It’s always a good day when we get a resighting of a NJ banded eagle, especially if it was one that had a transmitter attached. On November 1st, 2022 “Oran” was resighted in Stone Harbor, Cape May County, NJ by John Kauterman. This is about 22 miles from where he had fledged along the Delaware Bay in Cumberland County in 2015.

E/17 November 1st, 2022: photo credit, John Kauterman

On May 18th, 2015 a remote eagle nest on the Delaware Bay was visited by biologists with the NJ Bald Eagle Project, from both the NJ ENSP & CWF. There were two eight week old chicks in the nest both and we banded both. The male, banded NJ Green band E-17, was outfitted with a transmitter and he was named “Oran”.

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