navigation bar
   
njdep  
  New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife
 
njdep home f&w home

Bureau of Wildlife Management

The Bureau of Wildlife Management strives to ensure maintenance of healthy and diverse game species populations throughout the state and to maximize the associated economic, aesthetic and recreational benefits through scientifically sound research and management programs. These objectives are increasingly difficult to attain in the face of continued urbanization, reduced access to traditional management tools (e.g., hunting and trapping) and increased human intolerance of overpopulated species (e.g., black bear, Canada geese, white-tailed deer).

Several federally funded Research Projects within the Bureau are responsible for providing the information base necessary for managing game and furbearing animals. This includes monitoring wildlife population numbers and health, estimating hunter and trapper harvest levels and assessing the impact of wildlife on land use, the environment, and New Jersey's expanding human population. The information collected is essential to the NJ Fish and Game Council for determining annual hunting and trapping regulations, and evaluating the impact of past regulatory changes.

PROJECT SUMMARIES

The Deer Project collects and disseminates information on the State's deer resource and implements programs like the Division's Community-Based Deer Management permit program (CBDMP) for the management of suburban deer. Deer occupy all available deer range and although deer densities are nearly half of what they were in the mid-1990s, there still exist areas throughout the state where deer populations are problematic, usually due to lack of hunter access or no-discharge ordinances which restrict hunting. Deer are the primary big game animal currently hunted in New Jersey.

Active jobs carried on by this Project include:

  • Annual Deer Harvest determines the composition, size, distribution, physical condition, productivity and other aspects of the annual deer harvest mortality by deer management zone, unit, county, municipality, land ownership, date and season.
  • Deer Ecology Studies coordinate the collection of data necessary to estimate the population parameters of deer in New Jersey including the number, recovery rate, survival, density, and/or recruitment.
  • Community-Based Plan for the Management of Suburban Deer Populations provides information, technical assistance, coordination and oversight to municipalities, counties, county boards of agriculture and airports; conducts deer population surveys of CBDMP and other special areas using aerial infrared and other deer population survey techniques; and evaluates success of individual CBDMP in managing deer populations.
  • Effects of White-Tailed Deer on Forest Regeneration documents and quantifies the effects of white-tailed deer on the abundance and diversity of vegetation in New Jersey's forests, specifically the regeneration of native tree seedlings and the spread of invasive exotic vegetation.
  • Technical Committee Assignments provide the means for Division representation and participation at annual meetings of the Northeast Deer Technical Committee.

The Wild Turkey Project collects and disseminates information on the state's turkey resource. Since the 1977 initial release of 22 wild turkeys into northern New Jersey, the population has grown to over 20,000 birds statewide, and these birds now occupy all appropriate habitat.

Active jobs carried on by this Project include:

  • Annual Wild Turkey Harvest determines the composition, size, distribution, physical condition, and other aspects of the annual turkey harvest mortality by turkey hunting area, county, municipality, land ownership, date and season.
  • Wild Turkey Ecology studies the ecology of wild turkeys in New Jersey to provide the information necessary for population and environmental assessments, and management.
  • Technical Committee Assignments provide the means for Division representation and participation at annual meetings of the Northeast Upland Game Bird Technical Committee and National Wild Turkey Technical Committee, and to complete all assigned work.

The Upland Wildlife and Furbearer Project collects and disseminates information on the state's upland game and furbearing animal resource. Game species (e.g., those that may be legally hunted) include American woodcock, mourning dove, ruffed grouse, northern bobwhite quail, pheasants, chukar partridge, eastern gray squirrel, rabbits and hares, raccoon, Virginia opossum, red and gray fox, coyote and woodchuck, while furbearing species (e.g., those that may be legally trapped) include beaver, North American river otter, red and gray fox, striped skunk, mink, long-tailed and short-tailed weasels, muskrat, nutria, and coyote. Species such as coyote, red and gray fox, raccoon, and opossum are classified as both game and furbearing species.

Active jobs carried on by this Project include:

  • Migratory Upland Game Bird Surveys provide the coordination for annual American Woodcock Singing Ground and Mourning Dove Call-Count surveys in cooperation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
  • Hunter and Trapper Harvest, Recreational and Economic Surveys provide harvest estimates and sportsmen demographics, expenditures and participation. A random sample of 70,000 firearm hunters is sent a mail questionnaire in alternate years, while all known trappers are surveyed each year.
  • Beaver Distribution and Population Trends and River Otter Harvest provides information on the distribution and harvest of the State's beaver and river otter populations. These species may only be taken by licensed trappers in possession of a special permit. Each pelt is examined, measured and affixed with a possession seal, and all river otter carcasses are collected for age, weight and reproduction analyses. Field inventories are periodically taken from the State's 30 beaver and otter management zones.
  • Upland Species Ecology provides the means to study game and furbearing species ecology in order to provide the necessary information for population and environmental assessments, and management.
  • Technical Committee Assignments provide the means for Division representation and participation at annual meetings of the Northeast Fur Resources Technical Committee, Northeast Upland Game Bird Technical Committee and National Bobwhite Technical Committee, and to complete all assigned work.
  • Upland Game Habitat promotes wildlife-related incentive programs available through the federal government and provides interested landowners with information on habitat enhancements that will benefit a wide variety of wildlife species.

The Waterfowl Project collects and disseminates information on the state's waterfowl resource. Located in the heart of the Atlantic Flyway, New Jersey is a critical area for North American migratory game birds due to its vast network of coastal and inland wetlands. For example, New Jersey winters the highest concentrations of North America's American black ducks and about 50% of the Atlantic brant population. New Jersey has one of the highest densities of Atlantic Flyway Resident Population Canada geese.

Active jobs carried on by this Project include:

  • Waterfowl Monitoring Programs coordinate with the Atlantic Flyway Council and FWS in the collection of the data necessary to estimate the population parameters of waterfowl in New Jersey. These parameters include the number, trend, harvest, recovery rate, survival, density, and/or recruitment. Data collected through these monitoring programs will help to measure the impacts of landscape changes brought about by climate change and/or energy development. In addition, this job will provide New Jersey's share of funding for cooperative research and monitoring programs for migratory game birds and habitats important to the Atlantic Flyway.
  • Waterfowl Ecology and Management conducts research on the population ecology of selected species of waterfowl in New Jersey in order to identify habitat limiting factors and to provide the information necessary to make population assessments and management decisions.
  • Atlantic Flyway Council Technical Section Assignments provide the means for Division participation at annual meetings and monitoring programs of the Atlantic Flyway Council Technical Section , Atlantic Coast Joint Venture, and Black Duck Joint Venture, and complete all assigned work.

The Black Bear Project collects and disseminates information on the State's bear resource. A 32-year closed season (1971-2003) enabled the bear population to expand from fewer than 100 to an estimated 2,800-3,000 in the state's northwestern counties.

Active jobs carried on by this Project include:

  • Black Bear Distribution and Population Trends documents the occurrence, distribution, health and population dynamics of black bear in the State through annual collection of specimens from research trapping, winter den work, hunting season, accidental, legal and illegal mortalities and through the documentation of sightings from the public and other state/federal agencies.
  • Bear Damage Technical Guidance disseminates accurate and appropriate information on black bear damage and nuisance abatement to the general public, businesses, local and state agencies, and other organizations and to track and monitor bear damage and nuisance behavior using the New Jersey Environmental Management System program.

The Wildlife Damage Program receives 2,000-3,000 complaints annually from farmers and homeowners. Since public perception of the damage caused by wildlife, either real or perceived, is often based on misinformation, it is important that the Division provides personnel to field requests for assistance with wildlife damage and thus provide accurate information.

Active jobs carried on by this Project include:

  • Annual Requests for Wildlife Damage Technical Guidance disseminates accurate and appropriate information on wildlife damage management to the general public, businesses, local and state agencies, and other organizations and to track and monitor wildlife damage and conflict by species.

The Bureau's Wildlife Services Unit also assists the public with nuisance wildlife problems (including but not limited to hazing, trapping, lethal removal, and habitat manipulation) and responds to emergency situations such as bear conflicts in suburban areas. No federal funds are used to provide these services.

Tucked away in scenic Warren County, the Rockport Pheasant Farm strives to provide 50,000 pheasants annually for stocking on 24 statewide Wildlife Management Areas, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Fort Dix Military Reservation. The cost of raising pheasants is borne completely by those hunters who purchase the Special Pheasant and Quail Stamp required when hunting pheasants on any of the 25 designated areas. No state tax dollars are used. Pheasant hunting generates $2.6 million in income to local businesses such as gas stations, motels, diners, taxidermists and sporting goods stores. Since 1923 over 2 million "Rockport Rockets" have been raised at Rockport.

The Bureau also purchases the 800 quail liberated at 10 Wildlife Management Area dog training sites statewide during October and the 11,000 quail liberated at Greenwood Forest and Peaslee Wildlife Management Areas during November and December.

  Adobe Acrobat Some files on this site require adobe acrobat pdf reader to view. download the free pdf reader  
bottom footer contact dep privacy notice legal statement accessibility statement nj home nj home citizen business government services a to z departments dep home

division of fish & wildlife: home | links | contact f&w
department: njdep home | about dep | index by topic | programs/units | dep online
statewide: njhome | citizen | business | government | services A to Z | departments | search

Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2012
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: December 19, 2012