Winter/Spring 2002 - State of New Jersey

Winter/Spring 2002 - State of New Jersey

CNSERVENewsletter of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Programwww.njfishandwildlife.comWinter/Spring 2002Storied A.C. Peregrine DiesState's oldest nesting falcon was N.J. nativeSince 1985, what was originally the Golden Nugget hotelcasinohas gone through numerous ownership changes:Bally's Grand, The Grand and now the Hilton. Butthrough it all, there has been one constant: thefemale peregrine falcon perched on the 23rdfloorledge just outside the hotel's penthousesuiteWhen she first arrived, she was afirst-year peregrine, yet another vitalpiece in a fledgling restoration programthat, in the ensuing years,would repopulate the East with thefastest bird on earth after DDThad decimated it. Ensconced in anENSP-installed wooden tray, in1988 she mated and began raisingyoung. Since then, outlastingseveral mates, she raised 25chicks.Unfortunately, her storiedlife ended last October. KathyClark, the ENSP principal biologistwho heads the ENSP's peregrineprogram, received a call thata peregrine was down in AtlanticCity. The weak bird had blood onher upper bill --indicating she hadsuffered an impact injury. Judging bythe age of the bird's leg band, Clarkknew the bird was the Atlantic Cityfemale, the oldest nesting peregrine in thestate.Clark delivered the bird to the RaptorTrust rehabilitation center in Basking Ridge, butshe died that night of severe injuries.Clark, who expects another female will replace the bird thisyear, was understandably saddened. "She'd been around nearlyas long as I've been a biologist," says Clark. "I felt a kinshipfrom our many years at her nest, banding her young."Last June, as Clark was returning the bird's two chicks tothe ledge after she had banded them inside the penthousesuite, the biologist noticed the fiercefemale accidentally glance one of the building'sstructural columns.But Clark will remember more allthe times the bird was at her fighterpilotbest, strafing Clark, her assistantsand the news photographerswho bravely clambered out onto thenarrow ledge to record what hadbecome a much publicized, annualbanding ritual. In fact, in 1997within a span of several minutesthe bird was able to strike theheads of both an assistant biologistand a photographer. That'swhy Clark, since then, had beenbanding the chicks inside.Ironically, it took herdeath to solve the final mysteryof her existence. In 1994, thanksto a remote-controlled camera,Clark was able to read all but thelast digit on her leg band. The numbersconfirmed her 1985 hatch date,but without that missing digit shecould have been fledged anywherefrom Maine to Virginia.When Clark recovered the fatallyinjured bird, she recorded the entire bandingnumber, and quickly learned the female hadbeen hatched atop a nest tower erected inBarnegat Bay's Sedge Islands Wildlife ManagementArea, just 25 miles north of Atlantic City. One of the first offspringof restored, wild-nesting peregrines in New Jersey, shehad been a lifelong resident of the Garden State.Photo by Kathy Clark

C NSERVERich Kane, FarewellMessage from Larry Niles, Chief, ENSPWinter/Spring 2002STATE OF NEW JERSEYJim McGreevey, GovernorNEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OFENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONRobert C. Shinn, CommissionerCari Wild, Assistant CommissionerDIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFERobert McDowell, DirectorDavid Chanda, Assistant DirectorMartin McHugh, Assistant DirectorENDANGERED AND NONGAMESPECIES PROGRAMLarry Niles, Ph.D., ChiefADVISORY COMMITTEEJane Morton-Galetto, ChairpersonJames Applegate, Ph.D.Joanna Burger, Ph.D.Michael CataniaEmile DeVito, PhD.Sally DudleyRich KaneJan LarsonRick Lathrop, Ph.D.Dale Schweitzer, Ph.D.Jim ShissiasNEWSLETTER STAFFBruce Beans, Writer & EditorSteve Oleszek, DesignerFor more information:www.njfishandwildlife.comENDANGERED AND NONGAMESPECIES PROGRAM MISSION“To actively conserve New Jersey’s biologicaldiversity by maintaining and enhancingendangered and nongame wildlife populationswithin healthy functioning ecosystems.”Published quarterly by the Endangered and NongameSpecies Program within the Department of EnvironmentalProtection Division of Fish and Wildlife. Send addresschanges to: Conserve Wildlife Newsletter, PO Box 400,Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0400. Articles published maybe reprinted, author credit appreciated.Rich Kane is retiring thisyear from New JerseyAudubon and our Endangeredand Nongame AdvisoryCommittee. Rich joined thecommittee when the ENSPbegan back in the 1970s, andsince then has participated innearly every important decisionconcerning the unhuntedwildlife of this state. His counselhas always been wise anddirect."His contribution to NewJersey has been broad and significant,"says Jim Applegate,another original member of thecommittee and a professor atRutgers. "His career has madea difference."Noting that The Birds ofRich Kane with a wooden carving of red knots presented tohim by the ENSP Advisory Committee.New Jersey, the New Jersey Audubon book Kane co-authored, has alreadybecome a classic, Applegate added, "Rich is also recognized by everybodyas Mr. Birder in New Jersey. Among a very elite group of birders, he is thebottom line, the final authority."I first worked with Rich on a three-day survey of our colonial waterbirds,in 1983. We flew New Jersey coastal marsh in a helicopter, repeatingthe technique used by Rich and Joan Galli in the late "late ''70s". Richtook the front seat next to the pilot, and commanded us through one of themost grueling bird surveys I’ve ever done. The copter swerved and pitchedfor hours, leaving me in cold sweat. But Rich kept directing the pilot, barkingorders to me on what to count, keeping an eye on our location in a confusingcomplex of marsh and water and endless stretches of 15 differentspecies. He didn’t just command, he was the commander of the operation.I admired him from then on, as a biologist helping to understand the riddlesof our wildlife; as an activist leading New Jersey Audubon’s conservationprogram; and as an advisor on our committee always taking the hardpositions representing our state’s wildlife.The birds of N.J., the birders and the conservationists protecting thebirds all will feel the gap left by the retirement of this good man.Check off for wildlife this tax seasonWhen you complete your state income tax form this year, don'tforget New Jersey's wildlife. Conserve Wildlife tax check-off contributionsthat citizens like yourself make each year are one of themost important funding sources for the Endangered and NongameSpecies Program.The ENSP, which receives relatively few state tax revenues,depends mightily on the tax check-off and a portion of the ConserveWildlife license plate fees to fund the work that you read about inthis newsletter. In fact, the tax check-off and license plate fees areour two biggest sources of revenue. Unfortunately, contributions toboth have been declining due to competition from other tax checkoffand license plate options. Between 1991 and 2000, for example,revenue from the state income tax check-off declined more thanhalf, to $232,000.Which makes it more important than ever for you -- in order tokeep New Jersey's wildlife in our future -- to check off for wildlifewhen you complete your return this year.Photo courtesy of Joanna Burger.

PUTTINGN.J. 1STPhoto courtesy of Clay Myers.BALD EAGLES: Record number of nesting pairs (31), activenesting pairs (27) and young (34).OSPREYS: Productivity has rebounded to good levels, andnesting pairs are up to 340 pairs, a post-DDT record.PEREGRINE FALCONS: Productivity was up among the state's17 pairs.PIPING PLOVERS: Productivity among the state's approximately120 pairs was the second highest ever recorded.ALLEGHENY WOODRATS: State's lone population continues tothrive at base of the Palisades.BOBCATS: Appear to be holding their own, particularly in thenorth.PINE BARRENS TREEFROGS: Have been proposed to be upgradedfrom endangered to threatened status.BOG TURTLES: Seven new sites discovered. Two bog turtle sitesacquired by Green Acres. ENSP obtained about $50,000 fromNational Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Fish andWildlife Service for bog turtle habitat management and restoration.AROGOS SKIPPERS: Large colony and expansive area of potentialhabitat discovered in Morris CountySHOREBIRDS: Red knots and other migrating shorebirds holdingtheir own numbers wise; but for red knot in particular, seriousconcerns about declines in horseshoe crabs, the birds' productivityin the Arctic and numbers on their South American winteringgrounds.LEAST TERNS AND BLACK SKIMMERS: Numbers of nesting pairsunchanged, but productivity mixed.TIMBER RATTLESNAKES: Number of new dens located onNational Park Service property near the Delaware Water Gapconsidered secure, but snakes are under significant developmentpressure on private lands in the PinelandsWOODLAND, GRASSLAND AND SCRUB-SHRUB NESTING BIRDS:Severe population declines over the past 20 years due to lossand fragmentation of habitat. Among them:GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLERS: ENSP surveys over the past twoyears have found very few of these scrub-shrub nesting birds.CERULEAN WARBLERS: The range of these woodland nesters isalso contracting.Black-crowned night heronsnest in critical coastal wetlandshabitat delineated in green in aLandscape Project map ofAtlantic County.ENSP LandscapeProject Maps To BeUsed For Wetlands RegsLast month state regulators proposed using the Landscape Projectmapping, which designates habitat throughout the state that is critical toendangered, threatened or rare species, as part of the state's wetland regulations.The proposals were scheduled in January to be published in the NewJersey Register as part of amendments to existing rules under two statues:The Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA), which governsdevelopment in the coastal zone, and the Freshwater Wetland Act, whichgoverns development in areas involving freshwater wetlands. Once theproposals appeared in the N.J. Register, they became subject to threemonthreview periods.The Landscape Project was initiated and implemented by theEndangered and Nongame Species Program."This is a stirring endorsement of the science that underpins themaps," says Robert McDowell, the director of the DEP's Division ofFish and Wildlife, of which ENSP is a bureau. "The proposed use of theLandscape Project mapping by Department of Environmental Protectionregulators also represents a major advance in our ability to protectendangered and threatened species. It will increase the public's understandingof what these species need and prove to be a powerful tool forboth regulatory agencies and other groups that deal with open spaceissues."The proposals were supported by several environmental organizations,including the Highlands Coalition, the Sierra Club and New JerseyAudubon.The public review periods were schedule to last until April 7 for theCAFRA rule amendment and April 21 for the Freshwater Wetland Actrule. In order to comply with the public review period regulations, theENSP has furnished each county's central library and county clerks'offices with hard-copy books containing all the Landscape Project maps.In addition CD-ROMs that contain all the mapping are available --free of charge only during the review periods -- through DEP's Maps andPublications. If you're interested, call 609-777-1038 or go online and select "Publications."

Watchable Wildlife:It's everywhere in N.J.Whitesbog Village - Lebanon State ForestThis preserved turn-of-the-20th-century cranberrybog and blueberry field village andstate forest in the heart of the Pinelands provideexcellent wildlife habitat. In February,more than 500 tundra or whistling swans canbe seen in abandoned, flooded bogs. InMarch, pine warblers arrive, followed byeastern bluebirds, eastern towhees, tree swallowsand whip-poor-wills -- all commonnesters. Abandoned bogs attract bald eagles,great blue herons, ospreys and wild turkeys,while the pine-oak woods harbor redheadedwoodpeckers and pine, corn and scarletsnakes. Pine Barrens bellwort, pitcher plants,orchids and sundews are also found.Directions: Whitesbog Village: From the junction of N.J. 70 and CountyRoute 530, take CR 530 west towards Browns Mills for 1.2 miles. Turnright at the entrance to the village. Lebanon State Forest Visitor Center:Take Rt. 72 east at the Four-Mile Circle. Turn left a mile marker 1 and takethe first right.Information: Whitesbog Preservation Trust, 609-893-4646; LebanonState Forest, 609-726-1191.Hamilton-Trenton Marsh Viewing AreasSoutheast of Trenton, this is the northernmost freshwater tidal marsh on theDelaware River. Two public access points to the marsh include Spring Lake,once part of an amusement park, and the eastern end of John A RoeblingMemorial Park. A dirt trail that connects the two access areas offers goodbirding during the spring migration. You may see yellow-throated vireos,black-and-white warblers, American redstarts and scarlet tanagers along thewooded bluffs, and thrushes, tufted titmice and chickadees in the mountainlaurel thickets. Besides muskrats, raccoons and frogs, the marsh harborsmergansers and double-crested cormorants in the winter and ospreys, greatblue herons and wood ducks during the spring and summer.Directions: From the White Horse traffic circle on Rt. 206, go towardTrenton on Rt. 206 for 1.5 mi. Turn left (south) onto Sewell Ave. and gofour blocks and turn left downhill at the paved entrance to Spring Lake.Information: Delaware and Raritan Greenway, 1-609-924-4646 or theirMarsh Hotline, 609-452-0525.Wild Places and Open SpacesMap availableThe N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife is offering Wild Placesand Open Spaces - A Wildlife Enthusiast's Guide to Finding andUsing Public Open Space in the Garden State. The road mapoffers a wealth of information on exploring New Jersey's openspaces. Public areas, such as state parks, forests and wildlifemanagement areas, are highlighted; an accompanying chartindicates the wildlife and activities, such as boat launches,canoeing, kayaking, hiking, biking, bird watching, fishing andhunting, you might find in a particular area.To get your copy, send a $4 check payable to: Division ofFish and Wildlife, PO Box 400, Trenton, NJ 08625-0400. Att:Wild Places Map. For discounted bulk orders of 50 or more,call Carol Nash at 609-292-9450.Photo courtesy of Clay Myers.FebruarycalendarNaturalist'sThird week: Eastern tiger salamanders layeggs in vernal pondsLast week: Bald eagles begin laying eggsMarchFirst week: Peepers (small treefrogs) andwood frogs begin calling (couldbe earlier or later, depending onweather)Third week: Piping plovers begin arriving onbeaches Barred owls court and beginto nest Ospreys return to N.J.Last week: Bald eagle chicks begin to hatch Great blue herons and egretsbegin arriving at rookeriesAprilFirst week: Ospreys begin nesting Piping plovers begin courtingand setting up territories Upland sandpipers return andbegin nesting in grasslands andpasturesSecond week: Hibernating butterflies beginto appear Hummingbirds arriveThird week: Coastal herons and egretsbegin nesting Piping plovers being incubatingeggs Songbirds begin nesting Migrating shorebirds beginarriving on Delaware BayLast week Timber rattlesnakes start emergingfrom their winter dens

Wildlife Conservation CorpsCitizen ScientistOpportunitiesPhoto by Kris Shantz.If you are interested in registering and volunteering for any of the following, contactthe outreach biologist associated with each project:Urban Wildlife Survey ProjectSome of New Jersey's urban areas have remaining open wildlife areas that needto be revitalized and/or protected. However, the ENSP has insufficient data onnongame, threatened and endangered species in these urban areas. To assure a sustainableand healthy coexistence between humans and nature, it is necessary to surveythe status of wildlife in these areas in order to gain a better scientific understandingof their ecological condition and needs.That's why the Wildlife Conservation Corps' Citizen Scientist Program islaunching a major initiative,the Urban Wildlife SurveyProject. Its goals are to:• Help nonprofitgroups to further protect,conserve and restorewildlife in their urban areasand benefit public educationand awareness;• Collect wildlife datathat can be incorporatedinto Landscape Projectmaps, which target and prioritizecritical N.J. habitatfor planning and conservationpurposes.Volunteers -- boththose experienced inwildlife identification andnovices interested in beingmentored -- are needed toconduct general wildlife surveys that will focus on nongame, endangered and threatenedspecies. Volunteers are needed in Bergen, Camden, Middlesex and Passaic, aswell as Burlington, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Mercer, Monmouth, Morris andUnion counties.A Microsoft PowerPoint slide presentation about the project that is suitable forgroups is available. Monthly meetings are also scheduled at Essex County'sWeequahick Park. For meeting dates, to schedule a presentation or volunteer, contactMarie Mockers-Numata at 609-777-4136 or e-mail her at mmockers@dep.state.nj.usWildcat Ridge Hawk WatchFrom February through May, a hawk watch will be conducted at the WildcatRidge Wildlife Management Area in Morris County. Coordinator Bill Gallagherneeds volunteers to help staff the seven-day-a-week count. A basic knowledge ofbirds is required; Gallagher will train interested volunteers, who will record sightingsand weather data. Contact Larissa Smith at 609-628-2103 or llsmith@gtc3.comVernal Pool InvestigationsThe ENSP has launched a multi-year project to map and certify the thousandsof vernal pools in New Jersey. In March, the ENSP will hold training seminars inboth northern and southern N.J. for volunteers interested in surveying the pools forbreeding amphibians. The seminars will include both a lecture and field training.Volunteers may select particular survey areas that contain specific pools or tracts ofland with complexes of pools. The targeted areas will primarily be restricted to ruralportions of the coastal plain, Skylands and Piedmont landscapes.For southern N.J., the seminar will be held 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 9 atRowan University in Glassboro (Snow date March 23). For northern N.J., the seminarwill be held 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 16 at Somerset County's Lord StirlingPark (alternate date April 6). For information, contact Melissa Craddock at 908-735-4249 or To register, specify which seminar you want toattend in an e-mail to vernalpools@yahoo.comRATTLESNAKE,ENSPPRESENTATIONSAVAILABLEA new presentation, "TimberRattlesnakes in New Jersey," has beendeveloped by the ENSP. Thispresentation, which is about 35-45minutes long and appropriate for allage groups, is intended to inform citizensof New Jersey about rattlesnakesin the Garden State and to raise awarenessabout the different threats facingthis species.Some details and results of the"Pinelands Timber Rattlesnake Project"(which was initiated by ENSP in 2001)are also described. Trained volunteersare available to give the rattlesnakepresentation to interested groups, clubsor organizations.NEED A SPEAKER?The Speakers Bureau offersinterested groups an informative slidepresentation and discussion on ENSP'sefforts to research, managed and protectendangered and threatened species inNew Jersey.More than 50 trained Division of Fishand Wildlife - Wildlife ConservationCorps volunteers are available toconduct the half-hour presentationgeared toward adult audiences.For more details, or to scheduleeither presentation, please contact TerryTerry at (609) 628-2103, or by e-mail

CONSERVE WILDLIFEFOUNDATIONBOARD OF TRUSTEESROBERT A. BONAZZI ~ NJEAJOANNE BRIGANDI ~ South Jersey Gas CompanySTEPHEN HELLER ~ Verizon CommunicationsJOHN MANOS ~ DKB & Partners, Inc.ROBERT McDOWELL ~ NJ Div. of Fish & WildlifeERIK MOLLENHAUER ~ Educational Information & Resource CenterLARRY NILES, Ph.D. ~ Endangered & Nongame Species ProgramRON REISMAN ~ NUI Elizabethtown Gas CompanyTIM VOGEL ~ Wakefern/ShopRite SupermarketsLEE WASMAN ~ ConectivRICHARD WEIMAN ~ Reckitt BenckiserEXECUTIVE COUNCILFRED J. ABBATE, Ph.D. ~ NJ Utilities AssociationKURT HOENIGSBERG ~ NJN Public TelevisionSCOTT A. KOBLER, ESQ. ~ McCarter & EnglishROBERT REYNOLDS ~ Lucent TechnologiesCWF ADMINISTRATIONLINDA TESAURO, Executive DirectorKEARA GIANNOTTI, Development AssociateCORPORATIONS FORCONSERVATION OF WILDLIFEAnd other partners helping to keepNew Jersey’s wildlife in our future!Anheuser-Busch, Inc.• Lewis H. Bochner Wildlife TrustClean Air NJ • Conectiv • DKB & PartnersEducational Foundation of AmericaGarden Club of Long Beach Island • Geraldine R. Dodge FoundationGreater Watchung Nature Club • Hyde & Watson FoundationJersey Shore Audubon • K. Hovnanian CompaniesLiberty Property Trust • ExxonMobil • Lucent TechnologiesNature Conservancy • New Jersey-American Water CompanyNJ Audubon • NUI Elizabethtown Gas CompanyOcean Nature and Conservation SocietyPSEG • Reckitt BenckiserRobert R. Shomer and Leona R. Shomer TrustSouth Jersey Gas Company • Verizon CommunicationsWakefern/ShopRite SupermarketsJohanette Wallerstein Institute • Warner LambertWeyerhaeuser Co. • Wildlife Conservation SocietyFoundation NewsNJEA HeadBonazzi ChairsCWF BoardRobert Bonazzi, the executive director of the 172,000-member New JerseyEducation Association (NJEA), has been appointed chairman of the Board ofTrustees of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey."The environment has been a lifelong interest of mine," says Bonazzi, whojoined the CWF board last year. A former biology teacher with a M.S. in biologyeducation, Bonazzi once worked for a year in the ecology department of theBrookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island. Today, whenever he sails inBarnegat Bay or off the N.J. Coast, he tows a plankton net, whose contents he lateranalyzes under a microscope with Annie, his eight-year-old daughter."I think there's a real convergence between the missions of NJEA and the CWFin enhancing interest among students in science and appreciation for the environment,"says the Princeton Junction resident.As chairman, his goal is to enhance the visibility and public awareness of thework of both the CWF and the Endangered and Nongame Species Program, whichthe CWF supports. "After four years of existence, we want to take the foundation tothe next level by increasing its community connections at both the local and statelevel," he says. "We also intend to seek funding from like-minded national organizations."Bonazzi succeeds Scott Kobler, Esq., a partner with McCarter & English inNewark who, among other contributions, played a pivotal role in handling the legalwork that led to the establishment of the CWF.VOLUNTEERS, RUNNERS NEEDEDFOR MARATHON EFFORTThe Ocean Drive Run Club is holding the 4th annual Ocean Drive Marathon, 5K,10K, and 1.5-mile promenade on March 24, 2002 between Cape May and Sea Isle City.For the second year in a row, the club will donate proceeds to the Conserve WildlifeFoundation and to the "Shield the Blue" campaign for law enforcement officers in CapeMay County.Both runners and race volunteers are needed. Interested volunteers should call 609-984-6012 or contact To apply for any of the races, call the OceanDrive Run Club at 609-523-0880 or visit their website at & Nongame Species ProgramDivision of Fish & WIldlifePO Box 400Trenton, NJ 08625-0400PRSRT STDUS PostagePAIDTrenton, NJPermit No. 21ENSP“Keeping New Jersey’s Wildlife in Our Future”

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