Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘endangered species’

Falcon Comeback Continues in Union County

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

By Jasmine Lee, CWF Education Assistant

Spring has sprung, and peregrine falcon eggs have hatched! Viewers of our Union County Falcon Cam have enjoyed an exciting few days with the last of the four eyasses (baby falcons) emerging yesterday.

The adult female falcon 91/BA (“Cadence”) originally hails from Rochester, New York. She staked her claim on this nest last year and laid eggs very late last season, but the eyasses did not survive. This year, 91/BA got a timely start, with her first egg being laid on March 29, 2018. Incubation of her clutch of four eggs began on April 3.

While peregrine falcon feathers provide excellent insulation, it can be difficult for body heat to get past the feathers and to the eggs. An adaptation for this is the brood patch on the male’s and female’s chest. This patch has a high concentration of blood vessels close to the surface of their skin to allow for easier and better body heat transfer to the eggs.

After about 32 days, it is time for hatching to begin. The chicks begin by using a small “egg tooth” to peck a hole through the egg shell: this is called the external pip. After breaking the membrane, the chick can breathe some fresh air, and vigorously start the final process of hatching.

Around 8 AM on Saturday, May 5, the first eyas at Union County emerged! As we watch over the next few weeks, we will see a lot of activity in the nest as the parents work hard to feed the hungry chicks. The eyasses are completely dependent upon the adults and will eat an incredible amount, but they typically double in size in just six days! They will continue to be under constant care until they are ready to fly in approximately seven weeks.

An Inspiring Recovery

A peregrine hunts on the wing. ©Brian Kushner

In 2017 there were 34 nesting pairs of peregrine falcons were reported in all of New Jersey. Around two-thirds are known to have made their homes in buildings like the County Courthouse.

Until recent decades, the peregrine falcon population was in steep decline along with other birds of prey due to habitat loss and the pesticide DDT. By 1964, peregrine falcons had disappeared completely from New Jersey and all other states east of the Mississippi River.

Peregrine falcons were one of the first birds to be the focus of conservation efforts after the 1960’s.

In the 1980’s an intensive re-introduction effort began in the tri-state region, with biologists from the Endangered and Nongame Species Program and CWF leading the way in New Jersey. Since 2000 the New Jersey population has stabilized at approximately two dozen nesting pairs annually.

Livestreaming in Union County

2018 marks CWF’s second year partnering with Union County, providing a live stream of the action in and around the peregrine falcon nest located on the roof of the County Courthouse in midtown Elizabeth. CWF is proud to share the excitement in livestreaming the UCNJ Falcon Cam on our website and to use the webcam in our Union County school presentations, generously funded by Phillips 66.

Go to our website today to watch our new feathered friends as they continue to interact, and to learn more about the Peregrine Falcon. For more information about peregrine falcons, you can also visit the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fish & Wildlife.

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.

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