Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘marine mammals’

Seal Rescue in Delaware Bay

Thursday, April 9th, 2015
Harp Seal Stranded on Thompson’s Beach

By: Stephanie Feigin, Wildlife Ecologist

Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s Wildlife Ecologist Stephanie Feigin and Dr. Larry Niles of LJ Niles Associates LLC found a stranded Harp Seal on Thompson’s Beach last week while out monitoring CWF’s Delaware Bay restoration work.


Larry called the Marine Mammal Stranding Center to come out and assess the situation. When the stranding team arrived, they were able to see that the seal had been eating sand, making him/her sick. Sometimes, Harp Seals confuse sand with ice, as their primary habitat is in Arctic waters. In an attempt to re-hydrate themselves when they make their way down to our beaches, they will lick the sand on our beaches, thinking it is the ice they are used to, making them sick.


The Marine Mammal Stranding Center took the seal back with them to nurse him/her back to health and they are optimistic that he/she will make a full recovery.


If you find a stranded seal, always remember to call the Marine Mammal Stranding Center and give professionals the chance to rescue the animal.


Learn more:


Stephanie Feigin is the Wildlife Ecologist for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

“Harbor Seals in New Jersey” – Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s Latest Story Map

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015
Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey Releases a New Story Map: “Harbor Seals in New Jersey”

By: Michael Davenport, GIS Program Manager


Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF) has partnered with Jenkinson’s Aquarium of Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey to create and release our latest Story Map, “Harbor Seals in New Jersey.”

Seal Story MapOver the years, CWF staff have worked with a number of marine biologists in order to monitor seal populations in New Jersey and minimize disturbance or harm to them. Most recently, CWF held two workshops in 2014 to educate first responders on handling marine mammal (and sea turtle) strandings. We’re continuing our efforts at educating the public about these amazing animals with our “Harbor Seals in New Jersey” Story Map. A Story Map is a web-based interactive map embedded with multimedia content, such as text, photographs, and video.


The release of this Story Map coincides with the renovation of the seal exhibit at Jenkinson’s Aquarium. Jenkinson’s has been home for harbor seals since 1991, when their first seal (“Luseal”) moved in. She was soon joined by another seal, “Seaquin.”


This Story Map provides general information about harbor seals: where they live, how they live, and what dangers they face in the wild from both predators and humans. Luseal and Seaquin also have pages devoted to them, with photos and interesting facts about their lives and behaviors.


Learn more:


Michael Davenport is the GIS Program Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.




Humpback Whales Increasing in Waters Near NYC

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

By: Lindsay McNamara, Communications Coordinator

Humpback Whale feeding off New York City's Rockaway Peninsula. Photo Credit: BBC News

Humpback Whale feeding off New York City’s Rockaway Peninsula. Photo Credit: BBC News

Humpback Whales were spotted 87 times from whale-watching boats near New York City this year, and by cataloging the whales’ markings, at least 19 different humpbacks have been identified in the waters off the city. Naturalists aboard whale-watching boats have seen humpbacks in the Atlantic Ocean within a mile of the Rockaway peninsula, part of New York’s borough of Queens, within sight of Manhattan’s skyscrapers.


In 2012, there were 15 sightings; in 2013, 33; and this year there were 87 sightings totaling 106 humpbacks.


It’s not crystal clear why humpbacks, which can be 50 feet long and weigh 40 tons, are returning to New York’s shores, where they were abundant before they and other whale species were nearly destroyed by whaling.


Associated Press Reporter Jim Fitzgerald investigates the sightings:


Learn more:

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

Ebola of the Sea? Dolphins Still Dying Off Coast

Friday, November 14th, 2014

By: Lindsay McNamara, Communications Coordinator


A live bottlenose dolphin on Tobay Beach in Nassau County, New York. (Photo Credit: APP/Riverhead Foundation for Research and Preservation)

Bottlenose Dolphins, their numbers impacted last year from a nasty virus that rivals the death rate of Ebola in West Africa, are still dying, researchers have found.

The outbreak of morbillivirus, a measles-like virus that causes pneumonia, skin lesions and brain infections, has killed roughly twice as many bottlenose dolphins as the last big outbreak in 1987-88. In New Jersey, 151 bottlenose dolphins died last year — nearly 10 times this year’s toll so far, according to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine.

Morbillivirus is highly contagious. It’s spread through respiration (via blowholes) and direct contact. Experts think the virus may also be spread through skin contact.

Asbury Park Press Reporter Todd B. Bates explores the unusual mortality event:

Learn more:

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

100+ Dead Seals in New England Are Cause For Concern in NJ This Winter

Monday, November 21st, 2011

By Michael Davenport, Marine Species & GIS Programs Manager

Since September, at least 146 harbor seals were found dead along the New England coast.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has declared the deaths “an unusual mortality event” and federal officials are now investigating the cause(s) of the deaths.  Five of the dead seals have tested positive for the Influenza A virus.

An injured harbor seal ashore in Ocean Grove, NJ.

An injured harbor seal ashore in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. © Michael J. Davenport

NOAA has ruled-out human involvement in the deaths (such as intentional attacks or entanglement in fishing line).  They also reported that the number of deaths is three times the number of strandings that typically occur this time of year.

The months of November and December are when seals normally return to New Jersey waters from further north (they can usually be found during the winter in NJ until April when they swim north again).   For this reason, there is great concern that our state’s shores may soon also witness a higher than average number of sick or dead seals.

Any dead seals or seals which appear to be ill or in distress should be reported to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center at 609-266-0538.  Keep in mind, however, that a seal on the beach is not necessarily sick or injured.  Resting on the beach is normal behavior for seals.  They may haul-out onto beaches, jetties, or floating docks to rest or escape predators.  So, a seal on land is not necessarily a seal in distress.  Obvious indications of illness or injury are open wounds, entangled fishing line, or lack of responsiveness to their surroundings.