Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Women & Wildlife Awards 2015 Nominations Open Until July 24, 2015

For the 10th year, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey will present Women & Wildlife Awards to special individuals for their achievements, the advances they have made for women in their professions, their efforts to increase awareness of rare species and the habitats they depend on, and their contributions to New Jersey’s wildlife.

By acknowledging these special individuals, CWF hopes to encourage more young women to strive to make a positive impact on species and habitat protection, especially through the biological sciences. Conserve Wildlife Foundation encourages you to take this opportunity to nominate a woman who has distinguished herself in the service of New Jersey’s wildlife.

Nominations will be accepted in three categories:

The nomination form will be accepted through Friday, July 24, 2015. Nominations submitted last year will automatically be reconsidered this year.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Pipelines Across New Jersey

Pipelines are one of the current issues in New Jersey Conservation.

Rosemont is a place where the New Jersey Conservation Foundation has been preserving farmland and open space for over 30 years, the the group Preservation New Jersey has named the Rosemont Rural Agricultural District to its "10 Most Endangered" sites. It is only one of a number of historic properties throughout the state threatened by proposed gas pipelines.

The PennEast Pipeline has been proposed to transport fracked natural gas from Luzerne County, Pa., to a point near Trenton. It would cut through the Rosemont Rural Agricultural District

Other endangered sites include parts of Burlington, Ocean and Monmouth counties along the proposed route of a New Jersey Natural Gas pipeline; parts of Somerset, Hunterdon and Mercer counties that would be crossed by the Transcontinental (TRANSCO) pipeline; and parts of Passaic and Bergen counties along the proposed route of the Tennessee Gas pipeline.

Preservation New Jersey considers these pipelines to be "a short-term solution to a long-term energy supply problem. The negative effects on New Jersey's historical and natural resources will be permanent."

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Hey, Is That a Bobcat in My Backyard?

More and more people have webcams on their property for security, but sometimes they also capture wildlife.

Here's an example of one that was sent to me recently. (The animal in question appears about 1:40 into the video)

The owner asks if it is a bobcat or lynx?

Bobcats, or Lynx rufus, do exist in our state. The smallest species of lynx is the bobcat.

Speaking of sightings, here is a common query that the NJDEP, Audubon and even this blog gets. What is this animal?
"There is not a year that goes by where I do not meet someone who knows someone who heard of a guy that either swears he saw or heard that there was a sighting of a mountain lion roaming the woods and fields of N.J. in recent years. In fact, we here at N.J. Audubon also get actual "physical evidence" of these sightings in the form of emailed photos."

No mountain lions in N.J. They were here a long time ago, but they became extinct here with the last animals killed in Atlantic, Cape May and Ocean counties between 1830 and 1840.

But the bobcat - that is N.J.'s only wild cat.   Is that what is in the video?

Bobcat feeding via

Here are some facts to consider:
  • They are active all throughout the year, especially at night. 
  • They can weigh between 15-35 pounds and are about twice the size of a house cat.
  • Look for small ear tufts
  • They can have tan, black and white spots and stripes fur
  • They have a short "bobbed" tail with black only on top at the tip. 
  • Though the bobcat prefers to hunt rabbits and hares, it will hunt anything from insects, chickens, geese and other birds and small rodents to deer. 
  • They are territorial and largely solitary. To mark its territorial boundaries it will leave claw marks and deposits of urine or feces.
Is that a bobcat in the video?
Post your answer as a comment below.

Bobcat seen on a trail camera near Blairstown, Nov. 2011 via

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Down the Shore

Seaside Park
Summer beach season at the Jersey Shore in full force as kids are out of school. There have already been many events down the shore because we don't follow the "official" start of summer in June - and we don't end summer at the shore until it's too cold to go to the beach in autumn!

Here are some links to help you visit our 127 miles of beaches.
Seaside Heights
There are a number of webcams that allow you to take a look at the shore. It's a nice escape when you're in the office and a way to check out weather conditions before you head down the shore.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sierra Club to Take Legal Action to Protect New Jersey's Endangered Sturgeon

The Sierra Club is filing legal action through a Notice of Intent to Sue over what they believe is the DEP's failure to enforce the Endangered Species Act to protect the Delaware River and the surrounding ecosystem, by allowing the PSEG owned Mercer Generating Station to kill endangered sturgeon.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that NJ's Atlantic sturgeon population would be listed as Endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act effective April 2012.  NJ has only one other fish species listed as endangered - and it is also a sturgeon, the shortnose sturgeon.

From the Sierra Club website:
The Mercer Generating Station, on the Delaware River, kills around 70 million fish and other aquatic organisms in the Delaware River each year because the plant's outdated cooling systems. Atlantic sturgeon used to be so plentiful in the Delaware River that their roe (caviar) was shipped as far away as Russia. Today, there may be as few as 300 spawning adults in the Delaware River when a hundred years ago there were hundreds of thousands. 
Up to 690 million gallons of water are pulled from the river each day in the plant’s antiquated cooling system. The plant's victims include more than 30 species of fish each year, including the endangered shortnose sturgeon and the Atlantic sturgeon 
The NJ DEP must require PSEG to upgrade or retire the Mercer coal plant in order to prevent further impacts on endangered sturgeon and other aquatic species in the Delaware. PSEG can reduce its fish kills with the implementation of more efficient cooling towers that would reduce the amount of water drawn from the Delaware River, the number of organisms killed by water intakes, and the discharge of superheated water back into the Delaware.

We can't afford to lose any more of these endangered fish, especially when PSEG can easily reduce fish kills with new cooling towers.

You can send a message to Governor Christie and the DEP urging them to protect New Jersey's endangered sturgeon with the form at the Sierra Club website.

Atlantic sturgeon

Monday, May 25, 2015

Putting a Face on Threatened and Endangered Birds

I received an email from Evan Stuart Marshall, an artist living and working in Roseland, NJ. He has a new series of paintings that he calls "Treasured in Essex County: Birds." This set of 28 portraits of birds found in Essex County, and all are either endangered or threatened.

Northern Goshawk
Marshall says, "I painted them in extreme close-up to "put faces" on the dry government lists and also to show the birds' beauty and variety. Many bird species that appeared on "threatened and endangered" lists years ago have been removed from these lists because they are out of danger due to our protection efforts. I painted these portraits in extreme close-up in order to “put a face” on dry government lists, and also to showcase the birds’ amazing beauty and variety. It is my way of helping to make the public aware of what is happening to these creatures all around us. My hope is that, like many threatened and endangered species before them, these 28 birds will soon fall off the threatened and endangered lists due to our protection efforts.

Birds in the series include: American Bittern, American Kestrel, Bald Eagle, Barred Owl, Northern Harrier, Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, Red Knot, Short-Eared Owl and the Yellow-Crowned Night Heron.

Golden-Winged Warbler