|New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife|
May 3, 2002
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife now has a new and improved wildlife webcam on endangered peregrine falcons that are nesting atop the State's tallest building located at 101 Hudson Street in Jersey City. The State's first wildlife webcam was introduced last year thanks to a grant from the Verizon Foundation to the Conserve Wildlife Foundation, the non-profit arm of the Division's Endangered and Nongame Species Program. The nesting peregrines can be viewed through the Division of Fish and Wildlife website at www.njfishandwildlife.com or the Conserve Wildlife Foundation website at www.conservewildlifenj.org.
The webcam allows anyone with Internet access the ability to view the pair's behavior as they care for the three chicks that hatched in early May. The webcam was so popular last year, the system used to serve the video signal was overwhelmed resulting in periodic outages and slow performance. Working in partnership with the DEP's Office of Information Resource Management and the State Office of Information Technology, the webcam's performance has been vastly improved by serving the video signal through the State network which has the ability to handle unlimited viewers.
In addition to the webcam, a monitor display in the window of 101 Hudson Street provides employees and visitors with a "live cam" view of the birds as well as background on peregrines and the successful efforts of the Division's Endangered and Nongame Species Program to reintroduce them to New Jersey.
"We're grateful to the Verizon Foundation for their generous assistance in helping DEP take advantage of one of the most exciting technological advances of the 21st century," said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "We are especially excited about this year's improvement to the webcam made possible by the technological resources and expertise that have been developed in New Jersey's Office of Information Technology," he added.
The Conserve Wildlife Foundation Executive Director Linda Tesauro adds, "The webcam is also an invaluable educational resource for students and teachers. There is so much to learn about New Jersey's endangered wildlife and we hope this will encourage citizens to take an active role in the stewardship of rare wildlife."
The peregrines at the 101 Hudson building were first spotted by LCOR employees Tom Reid and Bob Barth who contacted the Division's Endangered and Nongame Species Program to get protection and help for the birds. Last year, a three-sided nest box was placed on the roof of the building and the pair produced two young.
The pair resides at the building year-round. During March they began territorial displays in anticipation of the breeding season. Four eggs were laid again this year and were expected to hatch during the last week of April. The parents will care for the young until they fledge (fly) from the nest in mid-summer. The young birds may still be viewed through the webcam after they fledge since they normally return to the nest site for a period after fledging.
Peregrine falcons became endangered during the 1960s and 70s from pesticide contamination when DDT was widely applied to control mosquitoes and other insects. DDT is a long-lived poison that accumulates in the food web and becomes concentrated in winged predators such as falcons, hawks and eagles causing eggshell thinning and death. When DDT was banned, these species and other carnivores at the top of the food chain rebounded with the help of intense conservation efforts.
Through a procedure known as "hacking," birds of prey like peregrines were brought back to New Jersey during the 1980s. Housed in high towers along coastal areas, peregrines were brought from The Peregrine Fund, at the time based at Cornell University, for reintroduction to the Garden State by the Division's Endangered and Nongame Species Program. There are now 15 to 17 peregrine pairs in New Jersey. Nesting birds continue to receive monitoring, and young are banded annually by biologists. Volunteers check the progress of young in the nests from a distance. All nesting peregrines in New Jersey use man-made sites, like tall buildings and bridge spans.
For updates on the Peregrine Project, visit the Division's website at www.njfishandwildlife.com.