Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Eagle Scout Project’

Ospreys, art and outdoor fun at the New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo

Friday, September 16th, 2016

by David Wheeler, Executive Director and Corrine Henn, Communications Coordinator

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Despite stereotypes to the contrary, New Jersey boasts some of the most extensive outdoor nature activities of anywhere in the nation. This past week’s New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo proved it, introducing thousands of visitors to the many fun and important ways that people can experience nature and make a difference.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation offered some of these activities throughout the event, as well as information on how children can earn Girl & Boy Scout Badges.

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CWF biologist Ben Wurst (left) with his hardworking team.

One scout activity helps one of New Jersey’s signature raptors in its continuing recovery – the osprey. CWF Habitat Program Manager Ben Wurst led groups of adults and children in building osprey nesting platforms. Wurst and his team will eventually relocate these platforms to nesting spots where ospreys are most in need. The children had a lot of fun decorating their very own osprey nests, which we kept as authentic as possible with lots of man-made nesting material.

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Nationally recognized artist James Fiorentino made a special appearance at CWF’s conservation tent on Saturday afternoon to sign posters for lucky visitors, in anticipation of the CWF traveling art exhibit, Rare Wildlife Revealed. The opening reception – which will unveil Fiorentino’s 25 striking images of rare wildlife species, and feature CWF biologists on hand to discuss the species – will be held on Friday September 30th at D&R Greenway Land Trust. Make sure you check out the show schedule and stop in to see his work!

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Renowned artist James Fiorentino holding poster of his original artwork.

Held by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the annual Expo is open to the public at the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson Township one weekend every September. We were lucky enough to have beautiful weather all weekend, surrounded by people with an appreciation for nature.

Check out some additional pictures from the event below!

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Help Bats in the Garden State

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015
Build Bat Houses with CWF at the New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo

by Ian Johansson, Eagle Scout Candidate and Conserve Wildlife Foundation Volunteer

A little brown bat, one of several bat species which will be added to the state's list of Endangered species. Photo by MacKenzie Hall.

A little brown bat. Photo by MacKenzie Hall.

I first met Liz Silvernail when my sister and I were given the unique opportunity to hold an eaglet while biologists from Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF) took data. This took place in Brick, New Jersey. After speaking with Liz and explaining that I was beginning to consider what I should do as my Eagle Scout project, she was gracious enough to offer her assistance helping me find a project that I could complete with Conserve Wildlife Foundation.

 

After introducing me to Stephanie Feigin, I was offered the chance to take on the project of building bat houses. The bat houses will be donated to Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey to put up before bats are evicted from attics, eaves, and buildings, so they can easily find a new place to roost. The bat houses will then be set up around the state to provide more suitable homes to bats that would otherwise be living in places that they were not welcome in or did not properly meet to their habitat needs.

 

Bat houses provide necessary roosting locations that cannot be provided in houses and buildings that bats inhabit if a proper living space is not readily available. Bat houses also provide spaces to raise young and hibernate, which is imperative for maintaining healthy bat populations.

 

Bats in New Jersey are the primary predators of night flying insects. They consume many of the pesky mosquitoes that swarm our backyards. Some bats can consume up to 4,500 insects nightly! A great way to help the bat population in New Jersey grow, is to build a bat house with us at the New Jersey Wild Outdoor Expo this weekend! The workshop is free. Materials are available on a first come, first served basis.

 

Stop by CWF’s tent at the Expo to learn more about bats and other imperiled wildlife species. You can always pick up plans to buy materials and make bat houses on your own.

 

Join us for the New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo:

  • Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13 from 10-5 PM
  • Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson Township, Ocean County
  • For online mapping directions and GPS navigation systems, use the address: 299 East Colliers Mill Road, New Egypt, NJ 08533
Bat houses getting the finishing touches.

Bat houses getting the finishing touches.

 

Ian Johansson is an Eagle Scout Candidate and Conserve Wildlife Foundation Volunteer.

Photo from the Field

Monday, September 15th, 2014
A new osprey platform is installed inside Sedge Island WMA. It replaces an antiquated design that is prone to predation by raccoons. This new 1-post platform will give ospreys their best chance at successfully raising young.

A new osprey platform is installed inside Sedge Island WMA. It replaces an antiquated design that is prone to predation by raccoons. This new 1-post platform will give ospreys their best chance at successfully raising young. © Ben Wurst

Eagle Scout helps NJ’s bats

Monday, January 3rd, 2011
Bat houses provide roosting and maternity sites in South Jersey

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Nicolas built 60 bat houses with materials that were donated to help NJ's bats. Image courtesy Dan Fuzer

New Jersey’s bats got some new maternity and roosting sites near Mt. Holly and the Rancocas Creek late last year. A Boy Scout, Nicolas Fuzer, chose to construct and install bat houses for his Eagle Scout Project after learning more about bats and the perils they face including White-nose syndrome. He hopes that by building and installing these houses NJ’s bats will not have a problem finding adequate areas to roost and reproduce.

Amazingly enough, Nicolas completed the construction of a total of 60 bat houses with the help of his fellow Scouts. He was planning on installing all of the bat houses, some with our help. But after realizing the daunting task of finding suitable habitat and installing all 60 of the bat houses, he decided to donate some to CWF. He installed 20 of houses in suitable habitat near the Rancocas Creek.

The donated bat houses will be installed in areas where we would like to enhance roosting habitat or maternity sites. There is a possibility for us to give away some bat houses to homeowners who 1) Have suitable habitat, i.e. a structure/building that has south/southwest exposure with full sun and at least a 15ft. drop and 2) would participate in our Summer Bat Count where volunteers count bats as they emerge from their roost sites at dusk. If you’re interested in obtaining a bat house from CWF, please contact me for more information.

Thank you Nicolas for all of your hard work and generous donation!!


Benefits of Bats

Nicholas installs a bat house as part of his Eagle Scout Project. Image courtesy Dan Fuzer

Bats have a reputation as being spooky or even dangerous, but they are actually some of the most beneficial animals to people. All of New Jersey’s bats are insectivores. They feed on night-flying insects, including the pesty mosquitoes. A single little brown bat can eat 3,000 mosquito-sized insects a night, and a colony of 150 big brown bats can eat enough cucumber beetles to save farmers almost a billion dollars annually in crop damages and pesticide costs. Without bats, we would be more dependent on toxic chemicals to control unwanted insects. Some garden pests even detect the sounds that bats make while feeding and will avoid areas where bats are present. In turn, guano (bat droppings) makes for a terrific garden fertilizer!

In other areas of the world, bats play a major role in pollinating flowers and dispersing seeds for plants such as bananas, avocados, cashews, and mangoes. By dispersing a wide variety of plant seeds over open areas, bats also help to restore the tropical rainforests following logging, fire, and other disturbances.

Many scientific advancements are owed to bats as well: navigational aids for the blind, blood-clot medication, artificial insemination techniques, low-temperature surgery on people, and military sonar have all been inspired by our night-flying friends.


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