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Wildlife Species Spotlight

Check out these in-depth profiles of some of New Jersey's rare species.

Red-Shouldered Hawk

The Red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) is a forest hawk listed as an endangered species in New Jersey. It is not highly visible and can go undetected in wetland forests where it lives and nests.

American Oystercatcher

The American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) is listed as a species of special conservation concern. This species is considered to be in decline in New Jersey.

Atlantic Loggerhead Turtle

The Atlantic loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) is recognized across the globe as an endangered species. Loggerhead populations are currently a tiny fraction of their historic size.


The breeding population of the Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryziorus) is considered to threatened in New Jersey. We are working to help manage and restore grasslands for Bobolinks and other grassland dependent birds.

Brook Snaketail Dragonfly

The beautiful brook snaketail dragonfly is listed as a species of special concern in New Jersey.


Seals (pinnipeds) are the commonly found along the New Jersey coast in winter. They are protected by the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.


Throughout the 1700s and 1800s fishers were relentlessly pursued for the value of their fur while concurrently their forest habitat was destroyed. Today fishers are striving to reoccupy much of their historical range.

Blue-Spotted Salamander

As winter draws to a close, there is perhaps no more faithful a reminder of the onset of spring than the return of amphibians to woodland vernal pools. Among the earliest to arrive is the State endangered blue-spotted salamander.

Shortnose Sturgeon

The Delaware River provides critical habitat to New Jersey’s only endangered fish species – the shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum). It can be found throughout the Delaware River estuary, occasionally entering the nearshore ocean off Delaware Bay.

Indiana Bat

Because of steep population declines over many decades, this sensitive species is considered endangered throughout its entire midwest-to-eastern US range.

American Kestrel

Although the American kestrel is widespread, meaning they live year round throughout much of the United States, the northeastern kestrel population is declining.

Eastern Box Turtle

The eastern box turtle is a very well known turtle in New Jersey, however in recent years their population has been in decline.

Allegheny Woodrat

The Allegheny woodrat, Neotoma floridana magister, has experienced rapid declines over the last 30 years

Tidewater Mucket

Freshwater mussels are one of the most rapidly declining animal groups in the country, with 55% of species extinct or imperiled.

Northern Metalmark

The Northern metalmark is a species on the edge in New Jersey but potentially could be restored to past numbers and distribution through greater land stewardship efforts.

Bog Turtle

Over the past 20 years, the bog turtle population has declined by at least 50% across the United States.

Humpback Whale

Humpback whales are a favorite amongst whale watchers due to their acrobatic, highly visible surface activities and their tendency to stay close to the coast.

Eastern Tiger Salamander

The Eastern Tiger Salamander is the largest salamander in New Jersey, reaching up to 13 inches in length. The eastern population is disjunct and declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation, development, pollution, illegal collecting, changes in hydrology, and climate change.

Peregrine Falcon

The fastest animal on the planet, peregrine falcons, can reach speeds of over 200 miles per hour. They became endangered in New Jersey, and across the world, due to the use of harmful pesticides such as DDT.

Piping Plover

The Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) population declined in 2013 to only 108 pairs. They are listed as an endangered species under the New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Species Conservation Act.