Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Ocean County’

Photo From the Field: New Falcon Tower Installed on Bonnet Island

Friday, February 9th, 2018

A sign of success. CWF Volunteer Matt T. atop the newly constructed peregrine falcon nesting tower on Bonnet Island, Stafford Twp., NJ. The 16′ tower was built from locally grown white cedar and installed for a pair who formally nested beneath the Route 72 Causeway Bridge. photo by Ben Wurst

 

Ospreys, art and outdoor fun at the New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo

Friday, September 16th, 2016

by David Wheeler, Executive Director and Corrine Henn, Communications Coordinator

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Despite stereotypes to the contrary, New Jersey boasts some of the most extensive outdoor nature activities of anywhere in the nation. This past week’s New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo proved it, introducing thousands of visitors to the many fun and important ways that people can experience nature and make a difference.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation offered some of these activities throughout the event, as well as information on how children can earn Girl & Boy Scout Badges.

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CWF biologist Ben Wurst (left) with his hardworking team.

One scout activity helps one of New Jersey’s signature raptors in its continuing recovery – the osprey. CWF Habitat Program Manager Ben Wurst led groups of adults and children in building osprey nesting platforms. Wurst and his team will eventually relocate these platforms to nesting spots where ospreys are most in need. The children had a lot of fun decorating their very own osprey nests, which we kept as authentic as possible with lots of man-made nesting material.

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Nationally recognized artist James Fiorentino made a special appearance at CWF’s conservation tent on Saturday afternoon to sign posters for lucky visitors, in anticipation of the CWF traveling art exhibit, Rare Wildlife Revealed. The opening reception – which will unveil Fiorentino’s 25 striking images of rare wildlife species, and feature CWF biologists on hand to discuss the species – will be held on Friday September 30th at D&R Greenway Land Trust. Make sure you check out the show schedule and stop in to see his work!

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Renowned artist James Fiorentino holding poster of his original artwork.

Held by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the annual Expo is open to the public at the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson Township one weekend every September. We were lucky enough to have beautiful weather all weekend, surrounded by people with an appreciation for nature.

Check out some additional pictures from the event below!

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Help Bats in the Garden State

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015
Build Bat Houses with CWF at the New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo

by Ian Johansson, Eagle Scout Candidate and Conserve Wildlife Foundation Volunteer

A little brown bat, one of several bat species which will be added to the state's list of Endangered species. Photo by MacKenzie Hall.

A little brown bat. Photo by MacKenzie Hall.

I first met Liz Silvernail when my sister and I were given the unique opportunity to hold an eaglet while biologists from Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF) took data. This took place in Brick, New Jersey. After speaking with Liz and explaining that I was beginning to consider what I should do as my Eagle Scout project, she was gracious enough to offer her assistance helping me find a project that I could complete with Conserve Wildlife Foundation.

 

After introducing me to Stephanie Feigin, I was offered the chance to take on the project of building bat houses. The bat houses will be donated to Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey to put up before bats are evicted from attics, eaves, and buildings, so they can easily find a new place to roost. The bat houses will then be set up around the state to provide more suitable homes to bats that would otherwise be living in places that they were not welcome in or did not properly meet to their habitat needs.

 

Bat houses provide necessary roosting locations that cannot be provided in houses and buildings that bats inhabit if a proper living space is not readily available. Bat houses also provide spaces to raise young and hibernate, which is imperative for maintaining healthy bat populations.

 

Bats in New Jersey are the primary predators of night flying insects. They consume many of the pesky mosquitoes that swarm our backyards. Some bats can consume up to 4,500 insects nightly! A great way to help the bat population in New Jersey grow, is to build a bat house with us at the New Jersey Wild Outdoor Expo this weekend! The workshop is free. Materials are available on a first come, first served basis.

 

Stop by CWF’s tent at the Expo to learn more about bats and other imperiled wildlife species. You can always pick up plans to buy materials and make bat houses on your own.

 

Join us for the New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo:

  • Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13 from 10-5 PM
  • Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson Township, Ocean County
  • For online mapping directions and GPS navigation systems, use the address: 299 East Colliers Mill Road, New Egypt, NJ 08533
Bat houses getting the finishing touches.

Bat houses getting the finishing touches.

 

Ian Johansson is an Eagle Scout Candidate and Conserve Wildlife Foundation Volunteer.

“Scout Central” at the 2015 New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
CWF to serve as “Scout Central” and Host Bat House and Rain Barrel Workshops at this year’s WILD Expo

by Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager

2015 New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo

 

The 2015 New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expoa free event designed for visitors to discover ways to appreciate and enjoy the outdoors, will be held on Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson Township, Ocean County.

 

This year, Conserve Wildlife Foundation will be holding two exciting and worth-while workshops, “Build a Bat House” and “Make a Rain Barrel.” Help us provide safe roosting and maternity sites for bats being evicted from buildings through our “Build a Bat House” workshop! The bat houses built at the Expo will become part of an Eagle Scout Service Project benefiting Conserve Wildlife Foundation.

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Eagle Scout Dan Silvernail assists a 2014 Expo attendee in the building of a bat house.

Join us in our activity tent for Conserve Wildlife Foundation merchandise, discounts on membership and activities for Boy and Girl Scouts. The Conserve Wildlife Foundation tent will serve as “Scout Central” at this year’s event. Stop by for important scout information, handouts and activities. For a list of Boy and Girl Scout activities at this year’s Expo, visit our website.

 

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Wildlife biologist Stephanie Egger educating 2014 Expo attendees about New Jersey’s box turtles.

Learn more:

 

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

 

Be Terrapin Aware!

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
Public urged to use caution while driving in shore areas this summer

By: Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager and Stephanie Egger, Wildlife Biologist

A adult female northern diamondback terrapin searches for a suitable nest site along Great Bay Blvd. Photo by Ben Wurst

An adult female northern diamondback terrapin searches for a suitable nest site along Great Bay Blvd. Photo by Ben Wurst

Each year in late May and early June the annual nesting season for northern diamondback terrapins begins. This unique species of turtle is the only one to inhabit our coastal estuaries year round. They live exclusively in brackish water.

During this time of year, adult females emerge from the protection of their aquatic habitat to find suitable areas to lay eggs. They seek nesting areas with a sandy gravel type substrate that’s above the high tide line.

Throughout their range along the coast, terrapins face a variety of threats to their survival. Terrapin nesting habitat has been lost due to commercial and residential development, shoreline hardening and flooding which poses a greater threat to these limited nesting areas. Loss of terrapin nesting habitat along marsh systems put terrapins at greater risk of mortality as a result of increased time searching for adequate nesting areas (Winters 2013). Terrapins will utilize roadsides for nesting which increases the threat of being hit by motor vehicles. Roads are essential to our daily life but they often are barriers to wildlife, especially small critters like terrapins. Studies have shown that adult females have become less abundant and smaller from road mortality. (Avissar, 2006).

You can help terrapins several ways during the nesting season. Driving more cautiously from now until mid-July is a simple way to be more aware of terrapins crossing the roads. Nesting peaks during the full and new moon cycles and they’re more active during the high tide (less distance to travel on land to nest sites). We ask drivers in coastal areas to “Be Terrapin Aware” while driving in these areas. If you find a terrapin crossing the road use these steps to help it cross safely:

  • Stay safe. Never put yourself at risk! Make sure that you do not endanger yourself, or others, by walking into traffic.
  • When safe to do so, pull your car over and onto the shoulder, if possible. Turn on your hazard signals.
  • When safe to enter the roadway, approach the turtle and pick it up by grabbing its shell with both hands between its front and hind legs. HOLD ON – Terrapins have strong legs!
  • It is important that you move the turtle in the direction that it is heading. They are not always headed directly towards water. They will turn around if you put them in the wrong direction, so work with their instincts.
  • Place the terrapin off the road onto the soft shoulder (dirt or grass).
  • If you have a GPS or a smartphone then record your location and submit your sighting on our website.
  • Please do not move a terrapin long distances to “somewhere safe!” They have very small home ranges and moving them will only hurt them.

Rescuing a live terrapin (or any other turtle) from the road is a rewarding experience. It’s a great way to engage future generations in caring for our terrapins.

You can also help terrapins during the nesting season by supporting our new “Turtle Gardens” project. CWF, in partnership with the Marine Academy of Technology of Environmental Sciencewill develop and implement an educational initiative to promote terrapin nesting habitat enhancement. These “Turtle Gardens” will raise awareness of the benefit of living shorelines to terrapins and other coastal wildlife, as it relates to sea level rise and coastal flooding within the Barnegat Bay Watershed. Turtle Gardens for terrapins are patches of sandy nesting habitat above the high water line that are less susceptible to flooding. They also reduce the risk of road mortality. We will be having informational training sessions for those that would like to volunteer for monitoring Turtle Gardens or have property that would support a Turtle Garden. Information on these sessions will be announced in mid-June.

In addition, we will also be looking for terrapin sighting information with Project Terrapin in Berkeley and Lacey Townships in Ocean County as part of an initiative to fill in data gaps for this species on the mainland. If you see terrapins in these locations please report your sightings online.

Learn more:

 

Ben Wurst is the Habitat Program Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey and Stephanie Egger is a Wildlife Biologist with Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

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