Five Ways To Get Wild For New Jersey’s Imperiled Species

State agencies and conservation groups welcome volunteers to help protect critters in need.

Bobcat

Bobcat. Illustration by Janice Belove.

1. Get Educated: Each fall, the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) holds its annual New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo to connect state residents with the natural world through outdoor activities, hands-on education and the latest conservation information. Other programs and events—including guided nature walks, campfire talks and even nature-infused yoga lessons—are led by the DEP and conservation groups and take place year-round.

2. Get Connected: Conserve Wildlife Foundation (CWF) of New Jersey is one of several conservation groups with live webcams offering a birds-eye view of wildlife like ospreys, falcons, bald eagles and bats. The Creature Show is a docu-web series at creatureshow.com created by award-winning documentary filmmaker Jared Flesher, a native New Jerseyan. The series is dedicated to conservation storytelling with a focus on Garden State animals and habitats.

3. Report Sightings: Biologists from the New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) use data from the public to help determine population and identify the crucial habitat of imperiled species. Data can be reported to the ENSP website.

4. Support Native Biodiversity: This means planting native species and avoiding invasive plant species—some of which can still be found at garden centers. A complete list of invasive species to be avoided can be found on the New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team website, njisst.org.

5. Give Back: Support conservation efforts with financial donations such as buying a Conserve Wildlife license plate, which helps fund the ENSP. You can also symbolically adopt a rare species through CWF.

READ MORE: New Jersey’s endangered and threatened species are struggling to survive.

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