Thursday, July 21, 2011

Week 9 from Sandy Hook

The endangered Piping Plover
After leadership camp Fallon and I jumped right back into it working for resource management. We had many opportunities throughout the week to deal with many different types of animals. Being in an ocean habitat there are a variety of different types of animals that resource has to do deal with. The animals we spent the most time on was the piping plover. The plover is an endangered bird that migrates to sandy hook to nest for the summer time and raise their young. With over 40,000 people coming to the beach on a single day on the weekend you can see why these birds may need some protection. Nesting areas are marked with signs and ropes with clear signs telling people not to enter these types of areas. This areas also contain an endangered plant, sea beach amaranth. On weekends employees are posted at the beginnings of these areas to try to keep the sandy hook patrons out of these types of areas on the beach. People are usually mad and can not understand why would we not allow them onto the beach that they paid to get on. It is tough to tell people no but it has to be done to preserve these endangered species.

We also got the opportunity to release harp seals into the ocean. The seals had to been rehabilitated from injuries they had sustained and were deemed able to be released back into the wild. They are released at sandy hook because it is the most northern tip of Jersey beaches. After being released the seals greeted each other which we were told is a good sign and could possibly mean that they are going to migrate with one another to the north where they spend their summers until they travel south again. It was really awesome to see the seals back in the ocean and swimming around.
We also had the chance to band osprey. Osprey nest on sandy hook in nests that are built for them by the staff here. This year we had more osprey then any other year and we had the chance to band them when we brought them out of the nest. Most of the nests had about three birds but some of them had two. The birds we banded were about four weeks old and had full sized wings and talons but could not fly. We made sure they were banded and the number on the band was recorded.

Overall we dealt with many animals and gained a wealth of experience about this specific field. The whole week was interesting and every day we did something new which made the week go extremely fast. We really enjoyed our time at resource management.

-Ryan and Fallon

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome opportunity you had to work with the seals!