Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘human disturbance’

Horseshoe Island- A Haven for Beach Nesting Birds

Friday, May 19th, 2023

by Todd Pover, Senior Wildlife Biologist

Horseshoe Island, located just offshore of Little Beach on the southern edge of the Little Egg Inlet, is teeming with wildlife again this year. Last year, under a five-year Management Rights Agreement secured from the state’s Tidelands Resource Council, the site was closed to the public from March 1- September 30 to benefit wildlife, in particular endangered and at-risk beach nesting birds and migratory shorebirds. The seasonal public closure of the island and its surrounding tidal areas is in place again this season.

Aerial view of Horseshoe Island
Courtesy of New Jersey Fish and Wildlife

Brigantine Shorebird Study

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
Volunteers are needed to help study migratory shorebird distribution and human use

A large flock of migratory shorebirds at North Brigantine Natural Area. © Ben Wurst

A partnership between Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, Endangered and Nongame Species Program, and Rutgers University.

Survey Period: 10/13/2010 – 10/24/2010

Volunteers are needed to help conduct a study that will measure all influences of shorebird distribution (food, predation and human use/disturbance) while altering human recreational use (close sections of beach, restricted access to key areas or to the waterline) to determine impact both to recreational use and shorebirds at a coastal stopover site (North Brigantine Natural Area). Volunteers are needed to survey shorebird behavior and distribution and/or human use of the natural area.

The ultimate goal is to recommend management programs that create the best protection with minimal impact to recreational use to all Federal and State agencies responsible for sites important to migratory shorebirds.

Shorebird Study:

Volunteers/interns must have the ability to:

  1. Identify shorebird species including Red Knot, Semi-palmated Plover, Sanderling, Sandpiper spp., Dunlin, Ruddy Turnstone is required.
  2. Accurately observe and record estimates of flock size and behaviors.
  3. Work anywhere 11-hour days with breaks throughout the day on site as needed.
  4. Walk several miles on the beach throughout the shift.
  5. Communicate effectively, intelligently and positively with the public despite potential opposition.
  6. Provide own transportation to Brigantine Natural Area.
  7. Lodging will be provided for those traveling and/or working consecutive days.

Human Use Study:

Volunteers/interns must have the ability to:

  1. Communicate effectively, intelligently and positively about the study with the public despite potential opposition. Volunteers will be supplied with a 1-page hand out about the project with contact information to share with the public.
  2. Advise public of beach closure.
  3. Interview visitors where possible to establish recreational activities, recreational rates, and perceptions.
  4. Accurately record responses.
  5. Work 11 hour days (includes two weekends) with breaks as needed on site throughout the day.
  6. Provide own transportation to Brigantine Natural Area.
  7. Lodging is available for those traveling and working consecutive days.

The schedule will be composed of 11-hour daily survey periods over the course of 12 consecutive days. This includes three pre-treatment days (10/13-10/15) followed by six treatment (beach closure) days (10/16-10/21) and three post-treatment days (10/22-10/24). Obviously, greater availability is preferred but flexible scheduling will be considered. We would like to keep this project a volunteer/intern support survey, so pay is not likely although may be considered if we are able to identify additional funding.

Please contact Cristina Frank at if you’d like to volunteer.