Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Endangered Species Act’

First Bees Added to Endangered Species List.

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

WORLD IS EXPERIENCING A DECLINE IN POLLINATORS, NEW JERSEY IS NO EXCEPTION

By Kendall Miller

New Jersey is not exempt from the worldwide decline in pollinators. We face the challenge of protecting wildlife in a highly modified and populated landscape. But the fight is not without hope.

A milestone has been reached for wildlife conservation in Hawaii – and is a win for the world of conservation as a whole. This month, seven species of bees indigenous to the Hawaiian archipelago were added to the endangered species list and brought under federal protection. These are the first species of bees to be listed in the country.

Hylaeus assimulans is one of the seven species of yellow-faced bee to receive Endangered Species Act protection. Photo: John Kaia. Picture taken from Xerces Society.

Hylaeus assimulans is one of the seven species of yellow-faced bee to receive Endangered Species Act protection. (Photo: John Kaia. Picture taken from Xerces Society.)

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Photos from the Field: Red Bat, Brown Bat, Flying Squirrel!

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
Update on the Second Year of CWF’s Northern Long-eared Bat Study

by Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager

Female (right) and male (left) eastern red bats after being removed from the same net. Photo by MacKenzie Hall.

Female (right) and male (left) eastern red bats after being removed from the same net. Photo by MacKenzie Hall.

In early June, CWF, in partnership with NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, began the second year of the Northern long-eared bat mist netting and radio telemetry study. The team will be focusing efforts in Southern and Coastal New Jersey this year. The goal of the mist netting and radio telemetry project to learn more about the summer distribution and habitat selection of the federally listed Northern long-eared bat; an important project that can shed light on a species we know all too little about.

 

To date, the team has completed its second week of mist netting. So far, our team has caught 6 eastern red bats, 3 big brown bats and accidentally caught 2 flying squirrels in two different sites in southern New Jersey. Though a myotis bat has not been caught yet, the team did get acoustic detection of a tricolored bat (Perimyotis subflavus) foraging near the net site in Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson, New Jersey!

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Flying squirrel being removed from a mist net. Photo by Stephanie Feigin.

Stay tuned for more updates as the season progresses!

 

Learn more:

 

Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Tracking a Federally Listed Bat Species across New Jersey

Friday, August 14th, 2015
An Update on CWF’s Northern long-eared Bat Statewide Mist Netting Surveys

by Stephanie Feigin, Wildlife Ecologist

Female Northern long eared bat (c) Ethan Gilardi

Female Northern long eared bat (c) Ethan Gilardi

White-nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease, has devastated bat populations across the country. Over six million bats have been killed by the disease, which has spread to over 25 states and five Canadian provinces. The Northern long-eared bat is one of the species most affected by WNS, suffering from an overwhelming 99% reduction in numbers in WNS-affected areas.

Stephanie Feigin checks wing of a little brown bat for signs of white nose syndrome scarring. (c) Ethan Gilardi

Stephanie Feigin checks wing of a Northern long-eared bat for signs of white nose syndrome scarring. (c) Ethan Gilardi

As a result, in April 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Northern long-eared bat as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

 

This summer, CWF Wildlife Ecologist Stephanie Feigin teamed up with NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife and Rutgers University to conduct a statewide mist netting and radio telemetry project to learn more about the summer distribution and habitat selection of Northern long-eared bats; an important project that can shed light on a species we know all too little about.

 

Mist-netting surveys began the week of June 1 and continued through the beginning of August. Survey sites included five state parks and Wildlife Management Areas across the state:

  • Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area
  • Rockaway River Wildlife Management Area
  • Washington Crossing State Park/Alexauken Creek Wildlife Management Area
  • Brendan Byrne State Forest
  • Wharton State Forest

 

The team, directed by Feigin, conducted a total of 19 netting nights and 10 tracking days, leading to a total of 63 bats caught, four of which were Northern long-eared bats. All four of the Northern long-eared bats received radio transmitters and were tracked everyday until the transmitter fell off.

Female Northern long-eared bat with transmitter attached to her back. (c) Stephanie Feigin

Female Northern long-eared bat with transmitter attached to her back. (c) Stephanie Feigin

After a long night of netting (5pm-2am) the team would set out the next day to track the bat caught the night before. This, however, was not an easy task. The maximum distance the antenna can receive a signal from the transmitter is ¾ of a mile (in perfect conditions). Though tough, the team was able to track the bats to five different roost sites including under the cedar siding of two homes, a narrow four foot stump, a large standing dead pitch pine, and another pitch pine in a recently burned forested area.

 

The mist netting and tracking study allowed us to collect important data on Northern long-eared bat populations throughout New Jersey. The data collected on habitat requirements and roost locations will help guide our conservation decisions. Ultimately, the study will allow us to better protect the remaining population of Northern-long eared bats in the Garden State.

Amanda Bevan, Rutgers University graduate student, scans area with ATS scanning receiver and Yagi 3-element antenna for a signal from the transmitter (c) Stephanie Feigin

Amanda Bevan, Rutgers University graduate student, scans area with ATS scanning receiver and Yagi 3-element antenna for a signal from the transmitter (c) Stephanie Feigin

This work was made possible with the support from the Franklin Parker Conservation Grants, EarthColor, and the Conserve Wildlife Matching Grant Program. Thank you to our supporters!

Learn more:

 

Stephanie Feigin is a Wildlife Ecologist for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Northern Long-Eared Bat Protected Under Endangered Species Act

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announced Bat as Threatened, Primarily Due to White-Nose Syndrome

By: Lindsay McNamara, Communications Coordinator

Northern Long-Eared Bat © Lance Risley

Remember back in late November when we wrote a blog encouraging our supporters to help the Northern Long-Eared Bat become listed as an Endangered Species? Thanks to those of you who submitted comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it was announced today that the Northern Long-Eared Bat will be listed as threatened and protected under the Endangered Species Act.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has cited declines caused by White-Nose Syndrome as well as continued spread of the disease, as the primary threat to the species. Under the protections of the Endangered Species Act, the Northern Long-Eared Bat now has increased priority for funds, grants, and recovery opportunities.

 

Also announced today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued an interim 4(d) rule that will provide maximum protection to the Northern Long-Eared Bat in areas where their populations have drastically declined due to White-Nose Syndrome, but will limit regulatory burden on the public in parts of the country where the bat species is not affected by the disease and the populations are stable. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites the public to comment on this interim rule until July 1, 2015.

 

Learn more about the listing and 4(d) rule:

 

CWF Field Guide: learn more about the Northern Long-eared Bat

 

How Can You Help Protect Northern Long-Eared Bats?

  • Do Not Disturb Hibernating Bats
  • Leave Dead and Dying Trees Standing: Where possible and not a safety hazard, leave dead or dying trees on your property. Northern long-eared bats and many other animals use these trees.
  • Install a Bat Box: Dead and dying trees are usually not left standing, so trees suitable for roosting may be in short supply and bat boxes can provide additional roost sites.
  • Get involved with Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s Bat Project!

 

Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Coordinator for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Fight for the Flight: Monarch Butterfly Status Under Review

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

By: Julianne Maksym, Intern 


A monarch butterfly emerges from a chrysalis in the wild. (Courtesy: US Fish & Wildlife Service)

As the summer leaves turn brown and children head back to school, flutters of black and orange wings flitter through the skies over the beaches in Cape May. As part of its yearly migration from Canada to Mexico, the monarch butterfly passes through New Jersey in search of a warmer climate for the blistery cold winter months. Multiple generations make the trek, leaving in the fall and returning in late spring.

 

During the summer months, the monarch can be found throughout the United States where milkweed, the species’ host plant, is plentiful. Milkweed provides nutrients to hungry caterpillars as well as space for mature females to lay their eggs. Although an adult monarch may lay up to 500 eggs in its lifetime, it has now been discovered fewer and fewer butterflies make the migration each year.

 

Losses of habitat and milkweed plants, the insect’s sole food source, are having tremendously devastating effects. According to a petition from butterfly advocates, the North American population has declined by more than 90 percent based on comparisons of the most recent population size estimates to the 20-year average. Numbers of monarch butterflies east of the Rockies dropped to the lowest record ever, signifying a decline of more than 90% since 1995. Monarch numbers west of the Rockies showed a similar decline of more than 50% since 1997. These figures suggest a significant predicament as the North American population represents the vast majority of all monarchs in the world. Without it, the entire species is vulnerable to extinction.

 

On December 29th, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it would be conducting a status review of the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service has reason to believe a listing may be necessary due to considerable evidence from a petition submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Food Safety, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and Dr. Lincoln Brower. The petition stated that habitat destruction and loss of milkweed due to pesticide use are two of the most contributing factors to the declining monarch population. Other factors include disease and predation, overutilization for commercial purposes, and lack of existing conservation procedures.

 

To begin the status review, the Service is requesting scientific and commercial data and other information through a 60-day public information period. The Service is specifically seeking information regarding the following:

  • Subspecies’ biology, range and population trends, habitat requirements, genetics and taxonomy
  • Historical and current range, including distribution patterns
  • Historical and current population levels and current and projected trends;
  • Life history or behavior of the monarch butterfly that has not yet been documented
  • Thermo-tolerance range and microclimate requirements of the monarch butterfly
  • Past and ongoing conservation measures for the subspecies, its habitat or both
  • Factors that are the basis for making a listing determination under section 4(a) of the ESA

 

Starting on December 31, information can be submitted via www.regulations.gov by entering docket number FWS-R3-ES-2014-0056 in the search box and clicking on “Comment Now!” The information collection period will be open until March 2, 2015.

 

Until a decision has been made, take a moment to appreciate the beauty that is the monarch butterfly. Consider planting a few milkweed plants in your garden or speaking out against the overuse of pesticides. As much as the monarch butterfly’s migration is a group effort, the conservation of these beautiful creatures is even more so.

 

Julianne Maksym is a graduate wildlife intern for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.