Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘endangered species’

Protecting Seabeach Amaranth – New Jersey’s Endangered Beach Plant

Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

by Todd Pover, Senior Wildlife Biologist

Seabeach Amaranth – Amaranthus pumilus

Although most of CWF’s work focuses on protecting New Jersey’s imperiled wildlife, in a few cases our mission overlaps with at-risk plants, as well. One such case involves seabeach amaranth, a state and federally-listed plant that shares the beach with our endangered beach nesting birds. In the past, CWF’s effort to protect seabeach amaranth was more “behind the scenes” through the development of beach management plans with coastal communities that put measures in place to protect plants from municipal activities. Over the past several years, in partnership with and through funding by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – New Jersey Field Office, CWF has now taken a more pro-active role in helping monitor and protect seabeach amaranth.

Starting in late May and all throughout June, CWF staff combs the state’s Atlantic coast beaches looking for amaranth plants that are just starting to germinate. Once found, the plants are protected with fence and signage, so they aren’t trampled by beach goers or driven over by vehicles conducting various beach maintenance activities, such as cleaning the beach with mechanical rakes. In the past they would have gone undetected and unprotected; few of the plants would have made it to the stage where they flower and produce seeds. Seabeach amaranth is an annual plant, its continued occurrence depends on seeds being produced and then dropped nearby or dispersed by wind or tides for next year’s “crop” of plants.

So far this season, mostly through the diligent fieldwork of CWF’s Biologist Sherry Tirgrath, we have located and protected 811 plants at 19 sites leading into the busy July 4 th holiday. The highest concentrations of plants are on beaches in southern Monmouth and northern Ocean counties. Since seabeach amaranth was rediscovered in New Jersey in 2000 – it had been absent since 1913 – Monmouth County, in particular Sandy Hook, a unit of Gateway National Recreation Area, has harbored most of the state’s seabeach amaranth population. However, over the past few years, increasingly more plants have been found on Ocean County beaches. In addition to increasing the overall population of plants, this wider distribution is one of the goals of the CWF/USFWs initiative.

With the early season work completed, CWF will now move onto other phases of the project. That includes repeat surveys for later germinating plants, ongoing maintenance of the fence we erected, and coordinating with the state’s beach nesting bird staff as they remove their fence once breeding season ends so it can be checked for plants. Those sites often have large numbers of plants as that habitat has been protected for birds – and as a result plants too – since late March or April. Finally, an annual statewide survey of seabeach amaranth occurs in late July and August and CWF will be “on call” to fence plants that are found by those survey crews. Plants can persist until late November in years with mild fall weather and low-flooding, in those cases our fence could remain up until then, so our work for the season has really just begun.

Celebrate Endangered Species Day

Friday, May 15th, 2020

Each year on the third Friday in May, the United States celebrates National Endangered Species Day. It is a chance for people of all ages to celebrate and learn about endangered species and how to protect them. Here are 5 ways you can celebrate New Jersey’s wildlife virtually, individually, and locally to stay safe during the corona virus crisis. Without the Endangered Species Act there wouldn’t be as many species in New Jersey to celebrate.

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NJTV: State eagle and falcon populations soar

Monday, February 11th, 2019

Story by NJTV. 

Mercer County is now home to two pairs of bald eagles and their nests. The discovery comes nearly three decades after the species nearly vanished from New Jersey.

“Bald eagles in particular were wiped out to where we only had one nest in all of New Jersey as recently as the 1980s, and it wasn’t even a successful nest. And now we have over 200 pairs of bald eagles,” said David Wheeler, executive director of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Wheeler said pesticides and people led to the near extinction of bald eagles.

Friday, bird watchers came equipped with binoculars and cameras to catch a glimpse of one the nests located at Mercer County Park.

“To see the nature and the national symbol of the United States all right here in Mercer Park is pretty neat,” said Flemington resident Graham MacRitchie.

Nearly 70 people were part of a new educational walking tour run by the County Parks Commission.

Star Ledger: Earth’s wildlife is disappearing – and NJ is at risk for the same

Monday, November 12th, 2018
by Michael Sol Warren, NJ.com

Photo: NJ.com

The world’s wildlife is dying off.

That’s the main takeaway from a new report released earlier this week. The 2018 edition of the Living Planet Report, published by the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London, found that the population size of some of the world’s vertebrate species had shrunk by 60 percent between 1970 and 2014.

Though tropical species have suffered the most, according to the report, the rash of wildlife decline hits home in the Garden State.

“It mirrors what we see in New Jersey,” said David Wheeler, the executive director of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Click here to read more.

2018 Species on the Edge 2.0 Winners Announced

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Conserve Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with our sponsor PSEG Foundation, is proud to recognize the winners of our 2018 Species on the Edge 2.0 Social Media Contest. High school students from across the state submitted original social media campaigns showing why wildlife protection is so important in New Jersey. Our winners exceeded 10,000 likes on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Casey Finnegan of Toms River High School North was awarded first place and a $1,000 scholarship . Sedona Ryan, our second place winner from Haddonfield Memorial High School, received $500. Third place and $250 went to Kelly George from Toms River High School North.

The annual Species on the Edge 2.0 contest capitalizes on high school students’ expertise with social media platforms, and provides them with the opportunity to showcase their talent, creativity, and love of nature. The contest helps to develop students’ experience in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) and their project management skills. Thank you to everyone who entered.

The contest is made possible through a grant from PSEG Foundation.