Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘endangered species’

Wildlife Art Wows Guests at Hiram Blauvelt Museum Reception

Friday, June 2nd, 2017
by Andrew Mead, Communications Professional and former intern at Conserve Wildlife Foundation

(From Left) Hiram Blauvelt President James Bellis, Artist James Fiorentino, Former Governor Thomas Kean, CWF Board Member Rick Weiman, CWF Executive Director David Wheeler

“As the former governor of New Jersey, I’m surprised to say I’ve never been to Hiram Blauvelt Museum before,” said Governor Tom Kean. “But now that I have, you can bet I’ll be back.”

That sentiment was widely shared that night in Oradell, at the state’s only wildlife art museum.
Art and animal lovers gathered on May 19 at the Hiram Blauvelt Museum to celebrate “Rare Wildlife Revealed: The James Fiorentino Traveling Art Exhibit.” The exhibit came to life in the gorgeous galleries of the museum, which was formerly a carriage house, accompanied by soothing harp music.

Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum

The free reception opened with remarks by Governor Kean, who shared the reverence felt by many in attendance. A longtime champion of Fiorentino, he also wrote the foreword to the exhibition’s hardcover book. After a riveting speech, the excitement was palpable.

David Wheeler, Executive Director of Conserve Wildlife Foundation, spoke next.

“The evocative artwork of James Fiorentino helps highlight the amazing diversity of New Jersey wildlife, from the humpback whale to the little brown bat. Our partnership seeks to bring attention to the very tangible steps that people can take to save and strengthen these wildlife populations.”

After two generous introductions, James Fiorentino finally took center stage. As the youngest artist ever featured in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, he was gracious with his words.

“As I look around the room I see many familiar faces and am reminded of how many have helped me along the way.” After thanking specific members of the audience, he continued, “I want to thank all of you for coming tonight and hope that you are inspired by New Jersey’s wildlife as much as I am. This is a very special place and I feel honored to be here among such amazing work.”

Amidst a backdrop that would awe even the most seasoned art collector, it was impossible not to feel inspired. Established in 1957, the Hiram Blauvelt Museum boasts a world-famous collection of wildlife paintings, sculptures and big game trophies. Along with the 25 watercolors of Rare Wildlife Revealed: The James Fiorentino Traveling Art Exhibition, an artistic atmosphere driven by conservation is sure to inspire you as well. Pay a visit while you have a chance!

Rare Wildlife Revealed will be shown at Hiram Blauvelt Museum through July 30, 2017.

Sales of the exhibition book, original paintings, limited edition digital prints, and wildlife merchandise will benefit Conserve Wildlife Foundation.

To learn more about hosting a future showing of Rare Wildlife Revealed – whether for an extended exhibition or a single night’s event – please contact Liz Silvernail, CWF Director of Development at 609.292.3707.

Photography by Bryan Duggan

Star Ledger: The Endangered Species of NJ

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Image by NJ.com

NJ Advance Media reporter Michael Sol Warren highlighted 17 endangered species in an insightful story looking at what can be done to save New Jersey’s rare wildlife. Conserve Wildlife Foundation has long focused on many of these species – from the piping plover and the bobcat to the bog turtle and the Pine Barrens tree frog – through monitoring and surveys, habitat restoration, and public engagement.

Read the story at NJ.com, then learn more through our online field guide.

Video: ‘Rare Wildlife Revealed’ brings art, wildlife to audiences around region

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

 

Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s “Rare Wildlife Revealed: The James Fiorentino Traveling Art Exhibition” can be found at the famed Hiram Blauvelt Museum in Oradell with a free reception this Friday night, May 19 from 6 to 8 PM. Former Governor Tom Kean will join nationally renowned artist James Fiorentino and CWF Executive Director David Wheeler for brief remarks, and guests will also be served refreshments.

The Hiram Blavelt Museum was established in 1957 as a natural history museum to garner support for wildlife conservation. Today, it is one of only five museums in the United States to exclusively display wildlife art. The museum is located at 705 Kinderkamack Road, Oradell, NJ 07649.

This innovative three-year exhibition is spotlighted in a nine-minute video by videographer Ed English focusing on a previous stay at the Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery in Bernardsville. The exhibition has also been featured at D&R Greenway in Princeton, the Mayo Performing Art Center in Morristown, the Flying Fish Brewing Company in Somerdale, the Salmagundi Art Museum in New York City, and the Princeton Environmental Film Festival in Princeton.

Rare Wildlife Revealed will be shown at Hiram Blauvelt Museum through July 30, 2017.

To learn more about hosting a future showing of Rare Wildlife Revealed – whether for an extended exhibition or a single night’s event – please contact Liz Silvernail, CWF Director of Development at 609.292.3707.

New Jersey Gains Another Endangered Species: The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

First bee in continental U.S. added to endangered list

By Kendall Miller

The rusty patched bumble bee has been locally extinct from the Garden State since the late 1900s. Once a common sight, the species has been eliminated from 87% of its entire range and has been seen only in isolated pockets of its once wide range.

But finally, the long awaited day has come – the rusty patched bumble bee has officially been added to the Endangered Species List.

The Rusty Patch Bumble Bee is found only in isolated pockets of its former range. Photo taken from Xerces Society.

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation first petitioned for the listing of the rusty patch in 2013. The decision to list was finally reached in September of this past year, and the Rule was officially published on January 11, 2017. The official Ruling brings the species under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, which will enable it to receive much needed federal protection.

Following the listing of seven yellow-faced bees found only in the isolated archipelago of Hawaii this September, the rusty patched is the first bee to join the ESL that is native to the continental U.S. It seems as if it has not been a good couple of months for bees, however this perception is far from the truth. Pollinators are on the decline across the globe as a result of pesticides, habitat loss and degradation, and the spread of pests and diseases. Listing pollinators for the first time means that their plight is recognized, and it empowers those who are working to protect these species from extinction.

Rare find, this is a species that has suffered drastic declines since the late 1990’s. Photo courtesy of Dan Mullen.

The multitude of ways that we rely on pollinators – for food, clothes, ecosystem functioning – means that their peril is our own. In New Jersey, the service provided by *wild pollinators is valued at $43 million; in the U.S. as a whole, it is $3 billion annually. Since the rusty patch (along with other species of bumble bees) is an excellent pollinator of New Jersey crops like blueberries, cranberries, and tomatoes, it is sorely missed from the Garden State.

This listing is another small step for the protection of native bees and pollinators everywhere.

Helping pollinators takes three steps:
1.  Plant flowering nectar sources spring through fall
2.  Provide safe nesting and overwintering habitat
3.  A pesticide free environment

 

*Wild pollinators are native bee species like the rusty patch bumble bee that have evolved with their native ecosystems. Honey bees that are commercially used for agriculture pollination services and honey production are not native to the United States.



Kendall Miller is a project coordinator for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Beachnester Buzz: Drum roll please, the 2016 breeding results for beachnesters are…

Monday, August 15th, 2016
NEW, WEEKLY UPDATES FROM NEW JERSEY’S BEACH NESTING BIRD PROJECT TEAM

by Todd Pover, Beach Nesting Bird Project Manager

There are many ways to gauge success for our beachnesting bird project. We look at how well our management tools work, the effectiveness of our partnerships, and how well our educational efforts work, to name a few qualitative measures we use. At some point, however, it comes down to cold hard numbers, how well did the birds do in a particular season and over the long-term. We are at that point in the season, and for the most part, I am happy to report it has been an excellent breeding year. I will caution that these are still preliminary figures, some quality checking of the data needs to be done before they are final, but the trends are clear.

One of a "bumper crop" of piping plover fledglings produced in New Jersey in 2016. Photo courtesy of Kevin Knutsen.

One of a “bumper crop” of piping plover fledglings produced in New Jersey in 2016. Photo courtesy of Kevin Knutsen.

First up are piping plovers. We will come in at ~115 pairs statewide, up modestly from the 108 pairs in 2015, and the second consecutive year of an increase after hitting our historic low of just 92 pairs in 2014. So, we have climbed back closer to our long-term average, but there is still room to improve. The really good news is our productivity this year – close to a statewide record at 1.37 chicks fledged per pairs – puts us in the position to continue our population increase. If trends hold, because piping plovers demonstrate high site (or region) fidelity, when we produce a lot of fledglings, our breeding population rises in the next year or two. With three straight years of well above average fledgling rates for New Jersey now in the books, our prospects look good in the short term for our breeding population levels.

Least terns and black skimmers, which nest in colonies, sometimes numbering hundreds (or even thousands), are more challenging to count and assess, but we had at least modest success this year for both species. As is typical, our least tern colonies were variable, with some completely failing and others being highly productive. The Monmouth County region, one of our strongholds for least terns in New Jersey, didn’t have one colony that was a standout but most of them had at least some success. In South Jersey, our two largest colonies at Holgate (EB Forsythe NWR) and Seaview Harbor were very successful and helped make up for losses and failures at other colonies. The majority of our state’s black skimmers are concentrated in one large colony at Seaview Harbor, and although skimmers are our latest nesters (so the season isn’t quite over for them), they appear to have been very successful there, which means a good season overall for the state.

We also track American oystercatchers, although only for the portion that nest on the barrier beaches and spits. Because the biggest percentage of oystercatchers in the state nest on back bay and marsh islands, we cannot determine true statewide population or productivity levels, but the population on the beach habitat appears to be rising in recent years. Typically breeding success is lower for oystercatchers on the beach habitat due to high levels of human disturbance and predators, but productivity has been relative high the past two years. Of particular note this year was Stone Harbor Point, where a record number of 27 pairs nested and produced over 30 fledglings.

The reality is our beachnester staff works just as hard in years when the birds do poorly, as when they do well like this year, but it is SO much more rewarding when we have a good season. So as we wrap up the season, we are all feeling in a bit of a celebratory mode now!


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