Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

Dark Star, the Oiled Osprey

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021

A couple weeks ago colleagues with NJ Fish & Wildlife shared a video clip of a dark osprey who landed on a nest platform along the Maurice River near Leesburg, NJ. “Looks like an oiled bird” the text read. Indeed it looked like the bird was exposed to some form of petroleum product, which stained its feathers a dark color. At the time, there was no oil spill reported to NJDEP (this was on May 10) and the video shows that the bird was observed on the nest on May 1, 2021.

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Photos from the Field: Raising up hope in 2021

Thursday, January 7th, 2021

Eagle Scout candidate Kyle Agudo and Boy Scout Troop 61 give ospreys a boost in the new year

Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Troop 61 lift an osprey nest platform into place on the coastal saltmarsh. photo by Kathy Agudo.

Humans have played a key role in the recovery and stability of nesting ospreys throughout New Jersey and beyond. Today around 75% of the population, close to 500 pairs, rely on nest platforms designed specifically for them. They provide a stable nest platform, adequate perches, and protection from potential ground predators, aka raccoons. Many platforms are located in very close proximity to people, which make for excellent viewing and educational opportunities. Ospreys are a symbol of a healthy coast and resiliency in a dynamic region.

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Second Chances: Osprey Nestlings Fostered

Monday, July 6th, 2020

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager


Summer is here. As we reach the peak of the osprey nesting season in New Jersey, we conduct surveys to monitor their overall nest success and health of the state wide population. These surveys are conducted by specially trained volunteers who devote much time to ensure ospreys have a future in New Jersey. These surveys have been conducted every year since the early 1970s and are crucial to track any possible downturn in a colony, watershed or region of the state. Ospreys are a very important indicator of the health of the environment in which they live. This is especially important in coastal areas where they support a booming shore economy that is built around clean water and abundant marine/estuarine ecosystems.

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Covid-19 and Wildlife, State of Change Podcast, episode 6

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
CWF biologist Ben Wurst (above), and all our staff and volunteers are practicing social distancing and following all state and CDC guidelines while in the field to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing global shutdowns, how has wildlife reacted to the absence of humans in New Jersey – and across the world? What impacts are we seeing so far, and what should we expect in the long-term?

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NEW JERSEY’S WILDLIFE IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 – PART 3

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

by David Wheeler, Executive Director

COVID-19 has changed our lives in virtually every possible way over the last few months. Our relationship to wildlife is no different. This three-part series explores the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown on wildlife in New Jersey and across the world. Read Part 1 and Part 2 and check out our podcast on COVID-19 and wildlife.

Part 3 The Threat of COVID-19

No discussion of COVID-19’s impact on wildlife would be complete with its fated beginning and its long-term threats posed by the global economic shutdown. As a zoonotic disease, COVID-19 likely was triggered by a virus in bats that got into a pangolin in a wet market that was then consumed by people, chance encounters made much more likely by a number of destructive human activities.

Clearing primal forests bring people into contact with remote wildlife for the first time, while also changing wildlife behaviors to increase the likelihood of their interaction with humans. Live animal markets offer ideal opportunities for viruses like COVID-19 to emerge. Illegal trafficking incentivizes further habitat clearing and poaching. Trading in exotic wildlife creates a host of problems both to the species themselves and to their ecosystems. (Though underexplored in the popular Tiger King series, the impacts of the exotic wildlife trade could make a fascinating series in its own right).

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