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shorebird conservation

Bird Study, Conserving Wildlife, Delaware Bay, habitat management, Restoring Habitat, Science, shorebird conservation, shorebird ecology, wildlife conservation, wildlife tracking

Fortescue Beach Takes Form on Delaware Bay

Fortescue beach begins to take form as a constant line of 24 ton trucks deliver sand and H4 operators lift it over the sea wall and onto the intertidal edge of the sea. On Monday, March 23, they hauled 2,000 tons. The benefit of our work became apparent on Tuesday, March 24, as the high tide washed against the derelict bulkheads that once protected this road south out of Fortescue connecting it to Raybin’s Beach. In the clip above Boomer Huen’s bulldozer heroically extends the high tide line out against the Delaware Bay waves lap the new shoreline. When horseshoe…

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Bird Study, Conserving Wildlife, Delaware Bay, habitat management, Restoring Habitat, Science, shorebird conservation, shorebird ecology, sustainable land use, wildlife conservation, wildlife tracking

Restoration Continues, Regardless of Snow

Both projects, Thompson’s Beach and South Fortescue Beach continued under a cold and very wet snow storm this past Friday (March 20, 2015). Just the five mile difference made for snowfall on Fortescue, but rain on Thompson’s. With rubble removed in the first section of Fortescue beach, Boomer Huen started building the beach on South Fortescue. With 7 trucks carrying loads of sand from Ricci Brothers Sand Plan, we were able to place over 1,000 yards of sand. The geographical orientation of this new beach will be similar to those on the Cape May peninsula including North and South Reeds Beach….

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Bird Study, Conserving Wildlife, Delaware Bay, habitat management, Restoring Habitat, Science, shorebird conservation, shorebird ecology, sustainable land use, wildlife conservation, wildlife tracking

Work at Fortescue Beach Begins

With the help of the New Jersey Division of Land Use Regulation, we were cleared to work on Fortescue Beach last Friday, March 20, 2015. It’s a big project! We will be moving over 40,000 yards of sand, nearly twice as much as was used in 2013 on the five beaches between Reeds Beach to Pierce’s Point. Restoring South Fortescue Beach will be vital to achieving the goals of our project. The most important goal is to remove the threat posed by a rubble strewn shoreline. The rubble served as a stopgap attempt to protect the road that connects Fortescue…

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Bird Study, conservation policy, Conserving Wildlife, Delaware Bay, habitat management, Restoring Habitat, Science, shorebird conservation, shorebird ecology, sustainable land use, wildlife conservation, wildlife tracking

Thompson’s Beach Restoration is Underway

Earlier this month, this season’s restoration work began at Thompson’s Beach. Wickberg Marine restored the road out to the Beach. The road once served the community of Thompson’s Beach, a small bayside enclave of Maurice River Township. After a series of punishing storms, the State DEP and Maurice River Township gained control of the small overwashed beach community and removed the houses. Two years ago, the DEP’s Bureau of Coastal Engineering and NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife removed much of the rubble that residents once used to protect their homes from angry Delaware Bay storms, but left a significant portion…

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Brazil, shorebird conservation, shorebird ecology

Down to Work

We spent most of our first day in the field getting ready for the second day in the field. A trapping expedition differs significantly from most ecological investigations in that failure is a real possibility. Usually when a biologist goes into the field, he or she looks for or counts something. If there is nothing to be seen or counted, it might be disappointing, but it’s still data. In other words, zeroes count. When trapping birds, however, there is no such thing as a zero. If we are unable to catch birds, it’s simply failure. Cannon netting in a remote…

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Arctic, shorebird conservation, shorebird ecology, wildlife tracking

Arctic Field Notes: A Daily Log from Mark Peck

Ever wonder what field scientists record in their notebooks during their day-to-day work? In July 2013, biologist Mark Peck (Royal Ontario Museum) was one of five scientists who traveled to Southampton Island, a large island in northern Canada, in search of nesting red knots and other shorebirds. His daily field notes and photographs provide a fascinating look at the trials and tribulations faced by the scientists seeking to protect these imperiled species. 1 July 2013 – Left at 20:30 for Winnipeg. Arrived at 22:30 and checked into the Hampton Inn. Larry Niles, Mandy Dey, Steve Gates, and Rick Lathrop came…

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Arctic, shorebird conservation, shorebird ecology, wildlife tracking

Our Last Day in the Arctic

We woke to a brilliant sunny day on our last day on Knot Plateau, a perfect contrast to the penetratingly cold rain of the day before. While Rick, Steve, and Mandy broke camp, Mark and I drove our ATV out to the two knot nests we had found two days prior. As we had only banded one parent at each nest, we were hoping to find the unbanded birds this time. On the way we saw our first (and last) polar bear. When it saw us coming, he slowly lumbered off in the opposite direction, posing no threat to us….

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Expeditions and Travels, shorebird conservation, South Carolina, sustainable land use

jobs, shorebirds and a sunny day on a South Carolina beach

The crew heading out to Deveaux Bank, SCThe noonday sun bathed us with early but welcome warmth while we sat behind a dune on Deveaux Bank, SC. A gentle breeze kept us cool while we waited for the tide to rise and shrink the island where three thousand red knots roosted. The Atlantic ocean sprawled in all directions, the Islands of Seabrook and Kiawah within sight a few miles off. Inevitably the tide would force the knots onto the intertidal flat before us, where we had set a cannon net several hours earlier.The crew setting the net was a mixed bag of characters such as, photographer/author, an English micro biologist, three biologists from the USFWS, including Melissa Bimbi, the southern lead on the listing of the red knot. The…

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conservation policy, shorebird conservation

gambling with the future of horseshoe crabs and shorebirds

Last week marked a new turn in the 15-year old battle to protect Delaware Bay’s population of horseshoe crabs and the migratory shorebirds that depend upon them.  For better or worse, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission adopted a new policy  (called Addendum 7) thereby embracing the use of a complicated and untested model predicting sustainable levels of horseshoe crab harvest and an even riskier allocation scheme that loosens restrictions on industrial harvests of horseshoe crabs in MD and VA.  The two moves will significantly increase the harvest of horseshoe crabs at a time when there are no objective signs…

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shorebird conservation, shorebird ecology

The beaches of Brigantine Natural Area are covered in shorebirds

Looking north on Brigantine Natural Area. Looking south from Brigantine Natural Area, NJ.Most of the shorebirds are semipalmated sandpipers and semipalmated plovers with some knot ( in the foreground) and sanderling.Encouraged by the reports of shorebirds at Stone Harbor,  I drove out to North Brigantine Natural Area, NJ, one of the most important southbound migratory shorebird stopovers on the east coast.  This Natural Area is oddly placed, just north of Atlantic City (the  casino skyline can be seen from the Natural Area) and smack in the middle of the most densely populated shoreline in the country.  Exhausted by the long…

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shorebird conservation, wildlife conservation

the red knot will be listed

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to list the red knot as federally threatened, and it will begin working on this monumental task soon.   For a blog she recently posted, Sandy Bauers, the Philadelphia Inquirer environmental reporter, asked me what I thought about the listing and how it would help the red knot.   Red Knots in winter plumage feeding. Photo by Mark Peck First, I thought of the benefits for the bird.  Once listed, the red knot will be front-and-center in decisions affecting migratory stopovers, such as Delaware Bay that have been diminished by short-sighted management and wintering areas …

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