IMG_0009This Blog is written by me, Larry Niles with help from my wife Amanda Dey. Together we help wildlife and people with our work as scientist, managers and educators. We live on Delaware Bay, a very natural place in the center of one of the most densely populated places in the US.  Shorebirds and Horseshoe Crabs distinguish the Delaware Bay making it one of the most important migratory stopovers in the world.

I work with natural resource agencies of Delaware and New Jersey,  the USFWS and non-profit conservation groups who vigilantly protect the bay ecological integrity while threats continue to grow.

This blog chronicles the work of my wife and I, and other dedicated scientists and volunteers who contribute to the protection of the bay. Our work takes us to other places like Bahia Lomas, Chile, Maranhao,  Brazil or San Francisco Bay to name some.  In each place we mirror the work we do here on Delaware Bay, create new information and understanding that can help conserve our natural resources.


Lawrence Niles PhD, LJ Niles Associates

Dr. Lawrence Niles received a BS and MS at Pennsylvania State University and a PhD from Rutgers University, Program in Ecology and Evolution, with a dissertation focused on migratory raptors. After working in GA as a regional game biologist, the majority of Dr. Niles career, 25 years, was spent working for the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, first as a biologist then as chief of the Endangered and Nongame Species Program. He led the Bald Eagle Recovery Project, Delaware Bay Shorebird Project and took part in projects on many of NJ’s rare species. He created the state’s first and only mapping of rare species habitat known as the “Landscape Map”, which is still in use. In 2006,Dr. Niles retired from the State and started his own company to pursue independent research and management projects on shorebird ecology and conservation and habitat conservation through planning and restoration. Nearly all of his projects are funded by federal and state wildlife agencies (US Fish and Wildlife Service, NJ, SC, FL, MA,TX and CA) and foundations (Dodge, Penn and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation) and are carried out in partnership with many groups, including Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, NJ Audubon Society and Defenders of Wildlife. Dr. Niles is a member of the National Shorebird Council, the Executive Board of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network and the Adaptive Resource Management Committee of the Atlantic States Marine Fish Commission. He has many peer-reviewed scientific articles, has published a monograph on shorebirds, a book on NJ Endangered Species, and a will have a new book out in February 2012 on Delaware Bay. He and his wife Amanda Dey were part of the PBS Nature documentary “Crash: A Tale of Two Species”.

Amanda Dey, PhD, NJ Endangered and Nongame Species Program

Dr. Amanda Dey received her BS and PhD from Rutgers University, Program in Ecology and Evolution, with a dissertation focused on breeding passerines. She began her career at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, PA, and Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, NH, studying the breeding ecology of forest-interior songbirds. As a Principal Zoologist with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program, Dr. Dey has spent the last 18 years focused on research and management of the State’s neotropical migrant songbirds and migratory shorebirds on Delaware Bay. She has focused her work on introducing rigorous scientific methods into the monitoring and assessment of rare species and increasing their numbers through conservation actions. Although she as done extensive work on neotropical migrant passerines, she has devoted considerable time to the conservation of shorebirds in general and the Delaware Bay migratory stopover in particular. On the Delaware Bay she has led one of the most intensive shorebird studies in the Western Hemisphere. The project includes surveys, stewardship programs, citizen science training as well as one of the most technically-advanced research efforts including the use of sophisticated population modeling, GIS mapping and remote tracking devices (geolocators). The project includes shorebird scientists from around the world. Dr. Dey has published scientific papers on migratory passerines and shorebirds, including a recent book, Predicting Occurrence of Area-Sensitive Forest Birds: The Role of Spatial Scale and Non-forest Habitats, based on her PhD dissertation. With Lawrence Niles, she was featured in a PBS Nature episode on red knots and horseshoe crabs, “Crash: A Tale of Two Species”. She is a recipient of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey’s Women & Wildlife Leadership Award, and has been recognized by both the American Littoral Society and New Jersey Audubon Society for her work on shorebirds on Delaware Bay. She is a member of the Atlantic Flyway Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Delaware Bay Ecosystem Technical Committee.

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