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Wildlife Fact:

The barred owl hunts by waiting on a high perch at night, or flying through the woods and swooping down on prey.


Rare Species Sightings

How to report sightings of rare wildlife to the Endangered and Nongame Species Program and re-sightings of banded birds.

Image of Black-crowned night heron.Zoom+ Black-crowned night heron. © Steve Byland

Reporting Rare Wildlife Sightings

To help protect rare and imperiled species, we must be able to identify where they occur and what habitat they need to exist. By reporting species sightings to the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife, Endangered and Nongame Species Program, you can help biologists build a picture of our state’s biodiversity. Most important sightings are of rare species during their breeding season.

The Endangered and Nongame Species Program asks the public to submit rare species sightings through a form found on their website.

Please be prepared to provide the following information to help confirm your sighting:

  • Date and time of sighting
  • Species common and scientific name (if known)
  • Location of the sighting shown on an aerial photo or Google map (coordinates)
  • Land owner
  • Description of the habitat
  • Behavior of animal
  • How the species was identified
  • Your contact information

A rare wildlife sighting report form can be downloaded here (PDF).

A list of the rare species currently tracked by the Endangered and Nongame Species Program is available in the PDF file available below:

Download NJ's List of Rare Species, updated March 2016

NJ's List of Rare Species, updated March 2016 - 203.5KB
Complete list of New Jersey's Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern species as of March 2016.

Image of A red knot in breeding plumage along the Delaware Bay.Zoom+ A red knot in breeding plumage along the Delaware Bay. © Bill Dalton

Bird Band Re-sightings and Recoveries

Since the mid 1990’s the International Shorebird Team has placed colorful bands on thousands of shorebirds. Each band has a unique identifier and can be read with a good quality spotting scope. By sending in information from these banded bands, researchers and the public can identify where the shorebirds – red knots, semipalmated sandpipers, ruddy turnstones, and sanderlings – were banded and where they winter, breed, and stop over during migration.

The website allows anyone living along the flyway to submit data on resightings for these birds and contribute to an amazing scientific collaboration designed to protect these birds from further decline, and in the case of the red knot, imminent extinction.

Migratory bird bands, including aux. "field readable bands" should also be reported to:

Our Species

Image of American burying beetle.

Explore our online field guide that depicts over 200 species of rare wildlife in New Jersey and learn about how we are working to protect them.