Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘least tern’

Researching Beach Nesting Birds at Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
Conserve Wildlife Foundation Partners with National Wildlife Refuge to Collect Data on Beach Nesting Birds

Posted by: Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager


Piping Plover Nest

Piping Plover Nest

Did you know barrier island beach makes up approximately 2% of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge? This area is the most productive for beach nesting birds. The federally threatened piping plover and other species such as least tern, black skimmer, and a species of special concern, the American oystercatcher, nest on Holgate Beach. The refuge closes the Holgate unit from April 1st to September 1st every year to provide undisturbed nesting habitat for these important species.


Not only is it important to protect nesting habitat for the birds, but it is also important to provide education opportunities to the public. Each summer, the refuge relies on volunteers during the summer months to talk to the public about the beach closure and bird management, and answer any general questions about Forsythe Refuge.


This year, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey partnered with the refuge to assist in the collection of nesting data. “In the past, refuge staff has done all the beach nesting bird monitoring,” said Refuge Manager Virginia Rettig. “This year we are very excited to be working with our partners to monitor the population status of these birds. The work they are doing, combined with the data they collect, will improve our understanding of beach nesting birds on Forsythe Refuge.”


CWF Field Technician Jesse Amesbury tracking piping plovers at Holgate with his scope.

CWF Field Technician Jesse Amesbury tracking piping plovers at Holgate with his scope.

“Holgate provides highly suitable undisturbed natural habitat for at-risk beach nesting birds, especially piping plover – a rarity along the otherwise highly developed and recreated New Jersey Coast,” said Todd Pover, CWF Beach Nesting Bird Project Manager. “Maximizing productivity at this site is a high priority for regional and range-wide recovery efforts.”


Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge protects more than 47,000 acres of sensitive wetlands, marshes, and coastal habitats along the New Jersey shore. It is one of the most important habitats for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds east of the Mississippi River.

Learn more:

Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s Beach Nesting Bird Project
Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge





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

Piping Plover Spring Arrival!

Monday, April 9th, 2012


By Todd Pover, Beach Nesting Bird Project Manager

Piping plovers and American oystercatchers have already begun to return to New Jersey to breed. Least terns and black skimmers will follow in another couple of weeks. This is a busy time for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s (CWF) Beach Nesting Bird Project – our program to protect these birds, some of the state’s most at-risk species, kicks into high gear as the birds arrive.

Employees from the Edison, NJ and Philadelphia, PA offices of CDM Smith who helped put up fence and signs at the Belmar Shark River Inlet nesting area. 


The first major task at hand is to protect the habitat where the birds nest from human disturbance associated with intensive recreational use of our beaches. Working closely with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, CWF typically helps fence off and post 20-25 beach sites annually.

And we couldn’t complete this massive job without the assistance of volunteers. This year we have gotten volunteer help from a diverse group of organizations, ranging from the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association to Wetland Institute to Manasquan High School Environmental Club. A huge THANKS to all those groups and individuals that pitched in to help!



Click here to learn more information about our Beach Nesting Bird Program.

Click here to learn how you can adopt a Piping Plover (or other species) to help fund our ongoing conservation projects.