Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘endangered’

The tragic toll of roads

Monday, May 21st, 2012
Be aware while driving this summer!

By Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Roads are a necessary component to human survival. Since New Jersey is such a densely populated state we have a lot of them. Many of them have a negative effect on wildlife. One of these impacts is how they block or impede the natural migration of amphibians and reptiles as they search for mates or expand their territories.

During the summer I am always a little more aware while driving. In the next week many terrapins will begin to emerge from coastal waters to find nest sites. Box turtles and other freshwater turtles are seeking mates and nest sites. Snakes often bask in roadways to help them thermoregulate. Last week while I was driving down one road in the Pinelands I saw two cars pass me in the opposite lane. After they sped by, on the shoulder, I noticed something odd but I knew exactly what it was. A tail was flinging crazily in the air. I thought it was a snake but was’t 100% sure so I stopped and turned around to check it out. It turns out it was a snake and it was an endangered timber rattlesnake. This is only the second timber rattler that I’ve ever seen in the wild and they are quite a rare occurrence. It was still alive but severely injured. I pulled it off the road before another car hit it. I called Dave Golden a zoologist with NJ Fish & Wildlife and took the snake home with hopes that it would survive long enough to be transferred to the Cape May County Zoo. Unfortunately, it died an hour after I got home. As you travel our many roads this summer please be aware of your surroundings and watch out for any snakes or turtles that enter the roadway.

A timber rattlesnake shortly after being hit by car on a road in the New Jersey Pinelands. © Ben Wurst

Timber rattlesnakes are a very docile snake, however they are still venomous and you can die if bitten. If you encounter a rattlesnake do not attempt to pick it up!!! I was extremely cautious of this snake even though it was injured. Please call 1-877-WARN-DEP immediately if you encounter a timber rattlesnake that is near your home and/or if you or it are in any kind of danger. Record information about your sighting and report it to the Endangered & Nongame Species Program here.

  • Learn more about our Roads & Wildlife Working Group
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Species in Decline

Monday, February 7th, 2011
New Status Listing provides protection for 108 species in New Jersey

By Mike Davenport, Marine Species & GIS Programs Manager

A juvenile sanderling probing the sand for food. © Mike Davenport

Our website features profiles on every one of New Jersey’s 73 Endangered or Threatened species in our Online Field Guide.  Now, we’re beginning to profile New Jersey’s Species of Special Concern.  The term “Species of Special Concern” applies to species that warrant special attention because of some evidence of decline, inherent vulnerability to environmental deterioration, or habitat modification that would result in their becoming a Threatened species. This category may also be applied to species that meet those criteria and for which there is little understanding of their current population status in the state.  There are currently 108 species within New Jersey with the Special Concern status.  So far, we have profiles for 18 of those species.

Please check back periodically as we update the website with more information.

Nesting Pairs up, productivity down

Saturday, September 11th, 2010
Mixed results for Bald Eagles this year

by Larissa Smith, Biologist & Volunteer Coordinator

Pilesgrove Eagle Pair. © Jeffrey White

The 2010 New Jersey bald eagle nesting season has ended and the young eagles have left their nest areas and are heading out on their own.  This season there was a high of 94 eagle pairs being monitored.  Eighty-two of these pairs were active (laid eggs), 8 were territorial and it was unknown if and where 4 other pairs were nesting.  Thirteen new pairs of eagles were located this season. Good news, the bald eagle population is increasing.

Forty-three nests were successful in producing 69 young, for a productivity rate of .84 young per active nest.  This is slightly below the required range of 0.9-1.1 young per nest for population maintenance.  Unfortunately there were 32 nests which failed to produce young this season.  Many of the failures can be attributed to the severe winter and spring weather which coincided with the eagle nesting season. But every population has fluctuations so this one off season won’t effect the NJ eagle population in the long term.

More details will be available in the Annual Bald Eagle Project report which will be out by the end of the year.