Tuesday, February 14, 2012

2011 Osprey Project Newsletter released!

All of the data from last year's osprey nesting surveys has been published in the "2011 Osprey Project in New Jersey" Newsletter. The report highlights the results survey results from several dedicated "osprey banders" and many other volunteers who reported active nests throughout coastal NJ. Volunteers observed a total of 345 active nests in 2011. Most were on the Atlantic coast on 1-post platforms designed specifically for ospreys. Many osprey continue to nest on communications towers and to help better manage the growing number of these nests and the maintenance of the towers, we created guidelines for towers that contain raptor nests. A total of 612 young were counted (new record) and 414 were banded (another new record). 
An osprey nestling hunkers down in its nest outside
of the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, NJ. © Ben Wurst

The next aerial survey has been postponed to 2013 with such great results and it will now be conducted once every four years to get a more accurate census of the entire population. We now estimate that the population is above 500 nesting pairs, the estimated size of the population prior to its decimation from DDT, habitat loss, and persecution from 1946-72. We alone are not responsible for such a great outcome. These positive results are the outcome of early conservation efforts by state biologists, habitat protection, water-quality improvements and support by many concerned citizens throughout the state. Thank you for your support!

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