Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘little egg harbor’

Photo from the Field

Thursday, October 5th, 2017
The Lucky 8: Tiny terrapin hatchlings rescued!

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

A clutch of eight tiny terrapin hatchlings found beneath one of our X-ING signs. photo by Ben Wurst

While removing our seasonal (better late than never!) terrapin X-ING signs on Great Bay Blvd. in Little Egg Harbor yesterday, we stumbled upon some tiny northern diamondback terrapin hatchlings. These little guys were hiding or trapped under a very large (and heavy) X-ING sign made from old pallets that someone knocked over (I say guys because they hatched later in the season and it was a very cool August, but some could be girls). At first I didn’t see anything, but upon closer inspection I saw several hatchlings in the vegetation. One, two, three, four, five, six. Then I dug a little with my hand and found two more. The sign had been atop a nest. (more…)

Volunteers needed to help protect terrapins!

Friday, April 24th, 2015
Training Session scheduled for May 12th at 6pm in Tuckerton
A female terrapin pauses while crossing Great Bay Blvd in Little Egg Harbor, NJ.

A female terrapin pauses while crossing Great Bay Blvd in Little Egg Harbor, NJ.

We work hard to protect wildlife for future generations to enjoy. One of those species, who is largely an underserved species in New Jersey is the northern diamondback terrapin. Terrapins are so cool yet hardly noticed by many. They face a HUGE amount of threats. To list a few (from greatest to least): Poaching, drowning in crab traps, road mortality, predation (usually of eggs or young), and collisions with boats and boat props. That’s a long list of threats to the health of their population, which no one really knows how they are doing…

What we’ve done with them in Tuckerton and Little Egg Harbor is address a problem which was believed to be the root cause for their decline in the area. Studies that have been done in the area have stated that the overall size and age of terrapins has decreased over time. Another documented the total road mortality rate at 70% of individuals that crossed the road (the actual rate in a more recent study was around 30%, but that’s still high and having an impact). Either way, each year many terrapins are being injured and killed by motor vehicles.

Each year we recruit volunteer “Terrapin Stewards” to help patrol area roads. This hardy and extremely dedicated group of volunteers work tirelessly to prevent terrapins from becoming road kill and also collect valuable data on their annual migration to find suitable nesting areas. On May 12th at 6:00pm we are hosting a short training session for anyone interested in volunteering this year. Attendees will also learn more about all of the work that we’ve done over the past 5 years.

A break in the weather

Friday, February 21st, 2014
Great Bay Blvd. Osprey Platform Install

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

We took advantage of the break in cold/wet weather along the southeast coast of New Jersey and installed a new nesting platform for ospreys this week. The new platform was installed for a pair that previously nested on sensitive equipment used by the Rutgers University Marine Field Station on Great Bay Blvd. in Little Egg Harbor. The equipment was located on a short cluster of pilings near the boardwalk to the Station. It failed to produce young in 2013. More than likely it was predated by raccoon, the main ground predator of osprey young.

A large number of volunteers showed up to help out. The actual install was quite easy considering it could be accessed by the land via Great Bay Blvd. The platform was placed along a tidal creek so that biologists can easily access the nest for future surveys. Rutgers staff will install deterrents on the old nest so birds can’t nest there when they return in late March. You can see the location of the nest on Osprey Watch or drive out on GBB to see it in person.

Thank you to all the volunteers who came out to help!

 

Photo from the field

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
Volunteers provide safe nest site for ospreys

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Volunteers who helped to install the first platform for ospreys in 2014! © Ben Wurst

Volunteers who helped to install the first platform for ospreys in 2014! © Ben Wurst

Today nine volunteers assisted with the installation of this nesting platform inside Great Bay Blvd. Wildlife Management Area. The platform was built during last year’s Sandy relief effort and was several “extra” platforms that were built using donated materials. It’s being used to replace an existing nest that is too close to disturbance and prone to predation. The new platform is far from disturbance, gives them protection from predators, but is close enough to the road for wildlife photographers and birders to observe them at a safe distance. You can report nesting activity for this new nest platform on Osprey Watch.

What did you do this summer?

Thursday, September 13th, 2012
Experience gained; many terrapins saved!

by Kristin Ryerson, CWF Terrapin Project Intern

Kristin prepares to release the injured terrapin her Dad found on Rt. 72. Photo courtesy Kristin Ryerson

“What did you do this summer?” was a question I was frequently asked by family, friends and classmates when I recently returned to college this fall. Well, where to begin! Ben Wurst, CWF’s Habitat Program Manager, set a goal this summer to lower the number of road killed Northern Diamondback Terrapins on Great Bay Boulevard in Tuckerton, NJ. In previous studies, 50 terrapins could be killed in one nesting season—the main cause? People. Careless drivers who are either speeding or simply oblivious to the many yellow signs warning them of crossing nesting terrapins and the fact that they are in the middle of an extremely vital wildlife refuge. So, this summer, I had the privilege of being the Great Bay Terrapin Project’s Intern, and my job was to help save nesting terrapins crossing the road and to take valuable data on those I saw. Ben gave me some equipment and the knowledge I would need when working on the road. Through road patrols, educating the public, maintaining the previously installed barrier fencing, painting road signs and data collection, I learned more than I had imagined and had an amazing experience.

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