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Posts Tagged ‘special concern’

New Jersey’s Status Review of Freshwater Fish

Monday, March 21st, 2016
SEVERAL SPECIES OF FRESHWATER FISH TO RECEIVE IMPERILED STATUS

By Michael Davenport, GIS Program Manager

The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife has recently completed a status review of the freshwater fish species within the state. A total of 53 species were reviewed by a panel of experts and the results of that review were then presented to the Endangered and Nongame Advisory Committee which voted  on March 16th to recommend the status changes. As a result of this status review, ten additional species within the state will be receiving an imperiled status of either Endangered, Threatened, or Special Concern. The date for when those listings will become official is still unknown.

Black-banded sunfish. © Shawn Crouse

Black-banded sunfish. © Shawn Crouse

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ’s online field guide, a one-of-a-kind free reference focused on New Jersey’s wildlife, has expanded to include the additional fish species.

To learn more about these fish species and the threats facing them, please click below to link to our field guide:

 

 

New Jersey’s Species Status Review Process

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016
HOW A SPECIES BECOMES LISTED AS “ENDANGERED” IN NEW JERSEY

By Michael Davenport, GIS Program Manager

How does the state’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) determine whether a species is imperiled or secure within the state? The process for determining a species’ state status is known as the “Delphi” method of species status review and it is a process which Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ (CWF) staff assists the state with.

Monarch adult edit

In 2015, the NJ Endangered & Nongame Advisory Committee approved that the monarch butterfly be added to the state’s list of Special Concern species. Photo courtesy of Thomas Gorman.

The ENSP endeavors to complete a review of all species currently included on the Endangered and Nongame lists every 5-10 years. In addition, other species groups not currently included on those lists may be reviewed for status as well. At any given time, there may be several status reviews being conducted.

The first step taken in conducting a status review is to identify experts and invite them to participate as a member of a review panel. Members of the panel may be comprised of experts within academia, government agencies, non-profits, or private consultants as well as others.

Once a sufficient number of experts have agreed to participate, staff within the ENSP and CWF will compile background material for the species being reviewed. This may include reports, survey data, and data contained within the state’s Biotics database which is the electronic warehouse for all imperiled species data in New Jersey. This background data, as well as a list of the species being reviewed, and definitions of the status options, are then sent to the panelists for Round 1 of the review.

Delphi reviews are comprised of multiple “Rounds”. For each round, each panelist will choose a status for each species based upon that panelist’s expertise as well as the background material. The panelist then sends their selections and justification regarding each species to ENSP or CWF staff who compile the results submitted by all panelists. The review is completed anonymously, so the panelists do not know the identities of the other participants.

In 2016, the NJ Endangered & Nongame Advisory Committee approved that the eastern hognose snake be added to the state's list of Special Concern species. © Thomas Gorman

In 2016, the NJ Endangered & Nongame Advisory Committee approved that the eastern hognose snake be added to the state’s list of Special Concern species. © Thomas Gorman

For each species, the panel must reach consensus of at least 85% of the respondents for a species’ status to be determined. If consensus is not reached during the first round, then that species will move on to be reviewed in Round 2. For each new round, the panelists’ status choices during the prior round, as well as all the comments made, are available to the panel, so that reviewers can consider the weight of evidence and other reviewers’ opinions on status as they prepare to vote again. This continues until consensus is reached for all species under review.

Once consensus is reached for all species or, if after four rounds have passed and consensus could not be reached for some species, ENSP or CWF staff will take the compiled Delphi results to the Endangered and Nongame Species Advisory Committee (ENSAC). ENSAC reviews the results and makes the final recommendations on status for those species for which consensus was not reached by the expert panel. Based upon ENSAC’s recommendations, any changes to the Endangered and Nongame lists must go through a formal rule-making process before those changes can be made official.

The Delphi review process is a science-based, anonymous review by those with the most expertise on the species within New Jersey. A great deal of thought and time go into preparing for and carrying out a review and CWF has played a major role in assisting with the process. From the blue whale to fairy shrimp, each species will ultimately receive a state status, leading the way for conservation action.


The following are state conservation status categories; the last, “Not Applicable”, is used only during the status review and is not a legal status category.

  • Endangered
    Applies to species whose prospects for survival within the state are in immediate danger due to one or several factors, such as loss or degradation of habitat, overexploitation, predation, competition, disease or environmental pollution, etc. An Endangered species likely requires immediate action to avoid extinction within New Jersey.
  • Threatened
    Applies to species that may become Endangered if conditions surrounding it begin to or continue to deteriorate. Thus, a Threatened species is one that is already vulnerable as a result of small population size, restricted range, narrow habitat affinities, significant population decline, etc.
  • Special Concern
    Applies to species that warrant special attention because of inherent vulnerability to environmental deterioration or habitat modification that would result in their becoming Threatened. This category would also be applied to species that meet the forgoing criteria and for which there is little understanding of their current population status in the state.
  • Secure/Stable
    Applies to species that appear to be secure in New Jersey and not in danger of falling into any of the preceding three categories in the near future.
  • Undetermined/Unknown
    Applies to a species that cannot be assigned a status of endangered, threatened, special concern or secure/stable because not enough information exists on which to base a judgment.
  • Not Applicable
    Applies to species that do not occur in New Jersey, including occasional non-breeding strays and transient breeders that fail to persist.

New Jersey’s Field Guide to Freshwater Mussels is Here!

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
CONSERVE WILDLIFE FOUNDATION OF NEW JERSEY RELEASE A NEW STORY MAP: “FRESHWATER MUSSELS OF NEW JERSEY

By Michael Davenport, GIS Program Manager

Freshwater mussels are distant relatives of marine mussels with a life cycle which includes a larval stage where they hitch a ride on fish as a parasite. There are a dozen species native to New Jersey and some species are known to live for over 100 years. This is an often overlooked group of species which deserves greater attention since many species are imperiled and because they are indicator species of water quality.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF) has partnered with the NJ Endangered and Nongame Species Program to create and release our latest Story Map, “Freshwater Mussels of New Jersey.”

Musselscreenshot

This Story Map is a web-based field guide to New Jersey’s freshwater mussel species. The field guide explores the diversity of this group of species, how to identify them, their life history, threats and conservation measures, as well as providing range maps for each species. This is the only freshwater mussel field guide specific to the state of New Jersey and developed by state biologists.

Photos and interactive range maps are available for all 12 of New Jersey’s native species as well as several non-native species found within the state. Several short videos are also included which demonstrate different methods of surveying for freshwater mussels.

Funding for the creation of this Story Map was provided in part through a New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife grant.

Story Map Brings Oystercatchers to Life Online

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

CWF Celebrates World Shorebirds Day With Release of Our First Story Map: “American Oystercatchers Through the Seasons”

By Michael Davenport, GIS Program Manager

Conserve Wildlife Foundation (CWF), today released a new interactive “Wildlife Story Map” in support of this Saturday’s first annual World Shorebirds Day! The Story Map can be viewed here!

ScreenCapture

A Story Map is a web-based interactive GIS map embedded with multimedia content, such as text, photographs, and video. CWF, working with GIS software developer ESRI and with financial assistance provided by a grant from the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife, plans to make this Story Map the first of many, helping engage the public about New Jersey’s rare wildlife in a dynamic and interactive way.

 “American Oystercatchers Through the Seasons” tells the story about a species of migratory bird, the American Oystercatcher, which spends the summer breeding season along the New Jersey coast, but is present year-round along the southern New Jersey coast. Our state represents the northern limit of the species’ winter range. While some New Jersey birds migrate during the winter to Florida, those that breed in New England during the summer may end up spending their winter here in New Jersey.

This Story Map also provides stories about individual banded birds, which have been tracked on journeys between New Jersey and southern states such as Florida, as well as between New Jersey and more northern states, such as Massachusetts.

Make a donation today to support additional Story Maps!



How to Use the Story Map:

On the left side of the Story Map page are several “buttons” which will allow you to flip through the different seasons in an oystercatcher’s life: Breeding, Migration, and Wintering.  Each page provides information and photos and a map specific to that portion of the bird’s life cycle. By clicking on an individual point within the map, a box containing more specific information, and a photo in some cases, will pop-up. The map also provides the ability to zoom-in and out in order to see areas of interest in more detail.

This Story Map is especially exciting since it helps celebrate the first annual World Shorebirds Day. This event seeks to “…raise global public awareness about the conservation of, and research about, shorebirds. About half of the world’s shorebird populations are in decline, and the rate of habitat loss is worse than ever before” (World Shorebirds Day 2014).

World Shorebirds Day hopes to accomplish the following:

  • To raise public awareness about the need to protect shorebirds and their habitats throughout their life cycles;
  • To raise public awareness about the need for ongoing shorebird research;
  • To connect people with shorebirds through important shorebird sites around the world;
  • To get shorebird enthusiasts to introduce shorebirds to more birdwatchers;
  • To raise awareness about the need for increased funding for shorebird research, monitoring and conservation.

CWF’s shorebird leadership ranges from the American Oystercatcher celebrated in this Story Map, to the beach nesting birds along the Atlantic Coast, to the red knots and ruddy turnstones along the Delaware Bay.

Your support can help CWF develop additional Story Maps on other rare wildlife. Support our work on Story Maps on the American Oystercatcher and other important shorebirds in honor of World Shorebirds Day by supporting research, education, and public awareness efforts carried out by CWF:

We hope that this will be the first of many Story Maps that CWF will use in order to communicate the many fascinating stories that New Jersey’s wildlife have to tell.

Make a donation today to support shorebirds today!




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.

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