The state's last
remaining eastern woodrat population is at the Palisades Interstate
Park in Bergen County. Using baited live traps, a graduate student
has been monitoring the status of the population. Trapping in 1994
showed that the population at the Palisades appears to be stable.
Unfortunately, eastern woodrats have been declining at an alarming
rate throughout the northeastern portion of their range. The decline
has been attributed, at least in part, to lethal infections of the
parasite, raccoon roundworm. A previous study of the raccoons at the
Palisades revealed infection rates among raccoons to be relatively
low compared to other areas where woodrats have disappeared. In
1998, observations found a growing woodrat population, possibly
because the raccoon population has declined.
The bobcat has spotted reddish fur, and tufted ears. The name comes from the idea that it has a "bobbed" (or short) tail. It's also referred to as the "bay lynx". This animal has an amazing story behind it. This animal was assumed extinct until people started calling in and saying "Your probably not going to believe me but, I'm pretty sure I saw a bobcat." Bobcats were once widespread and common in New Jersey, probably even in every county. Stories of bobcats being seen or killed continued throughout the 1950's and 1960's, but in the late 1970's bobcats were thought to be extinct from New Jersey. Then from 1977 to 1982, 24 bobcats were captured in New England and released in North Jersey. Interestingly enough a male bobcat was found after being hit by a car and was to old to be the son of the bobcats they had earlier released. This confirmed that at least a remnant population of bobcats still existed in New Jersey at the time of the releases. The bobcat was then listed as an endangered species in June of 1991. Since then, regular sightings of bobcats have been submitted from an increasingly larger area of the state.
INDIANA BAT ( myotis sodalis )
This bat was recently discovered in the largest bat hibernaculum (that's where bats hibernate - a bat cave) in NJ. Volunteers helped clear the cave of litter. The former mine shaft is used year round by some males and non-breeding females. But every fall, thousands of mating bats swarm at the entrance in preparation for winter hibernation. The population is estimated at 26,000. Most of he bats are little brown bats, big brown bats, Eastern pipistrels and now the state and federally endangered Indiana bat.
The Indiana bat is a medium-sized bat. They closely resemble the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus). Their fur is a dull gray. Their underparts are pinkish to cinnamon. Like snakes, bats have a bad and undeserved reputation. Did you know that most insect-eating bats will eat several thousand insects on a summer night? Imagine what your bug bites would be like if all the bats disappeared from your area! In NJ, they are very helpful in combating our famous mosquito population. During winter, all Indiana bats hibernate in caves and abandoned mines. In summer, female bats crawl under the peeling bark of dead and dying trees. These small groups of a few to 100 moms are called a nursery colony and it is here that the young are born.
Those little teeth look sharp, don't they? Will they attack you? No! They eat insects! They will avoid people if they can. Here's a sad story. The cave in Hibernia, NJ where they hibernate had to have a very expensive gate put on it. The gate is not to keep bats in or out... it's to keep PEOPLE out! People were going in and starting fires & killing or hurting the bats. Sometimes IGNORANCE is a cause of endangered species too!
The blue whale is a large dark blue whale. It is the largest animal in the world! Probably, it is the largest that ever lived! The length of a blue whale these days is about 70 ft. Most larger blue whales are caught by hunters today, but at one time an Antarctic blue whales grew to be 100 feet (30.5 meters) long!! A blue whale's heart alone can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds! Threats to this species are human predation and coastal development.
WHALE- (Physeter catadon) These creatures grow up to 18
meters(ft) and the maximum recorded weight is 57 tons. It feeds on on
squids, sharks, and bony fish and swims to depths of more than 3000
meters and stay under water for up to 90 minutes! This whale can also
live up to 40 years. Threats
to this species are human predation, coastal development, and oil,
gas, and exploration. The
most famous Sperm whale is known from a book, that whale was, "Moby
These whales grow up to 27 meters (feet) in length. They are are
large, sleek, gray-bodied baleen whale that feeds on small fish. A
baleen whale traps food that it eats behind a screen keeping small
fish in but allowing water to go out. In the winter it doesn't eat it
fasts, living off its fat that is stored. The reason these whales are
endangered is because of human predation, coastal development, and
oil, gas, and exploration.
(Balaenoptera borealis) This is the third largest baleen
whale. It's mostly steel gray with a slender head head and narrow,
pointed flippers. This whale grows to 18.5(ft) meters in length. It
feeds on krill, copepods, and small fish and mainly stays in waters
50-70 degrees. Threats to this species are human predation, coastal
development, and oil, gas, and exploration.
WHALE- (Megaptera novaeangliae)
(photo courtesy of The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary)
This is a medium-sized baleen whale that is dark on the back with a white pigmentation occurring on the flippers, sides, and ventral surface of the body and flukes. It has a dorsal hump, a flattened knobby head, and long scalloped flippers. They feed on schooling fish, krill, and plankton. Humpback whales communicate by singing songs that can last up to 30 minutes! They range about 14 meters(ft) in length. This whale may be large but it can jump from the water so that its body is completely out and even start to spin! Threats to this species are human predation, coastal development, and oil & gas exploration.
WHALE- (Balaena glacialis) These animals grow up to 70 feet in
length and weigh up to 60 tons. It is slow moving and travels singly
or in small groups. Its color is blackish and often paler gray
underneath. It eats plankton and other small invertebrates.They have
no dorsal fin (on top). They have thick skin patches called
callosites which are light in color. These are different on each
whale and are used by scientists to identify each whale. Calves
(babies) are born in December - March off the coasts of Georgia &
Florida. In spring, they head north towards Cape Cod, Massachusetts
and pass through NJ waters. They eat about 4,000 pounds of krill and
copepods (tiny sea crustaceans) and are baleen whales (a filter that
holds the food in their mouth & lets out the water - no
Like many marine mammals they are threatened because of collisions with ships & boats (this species especially because they swim slowly on the surface when feeding) , entanglement with fishing gear, lower genetic diversity (because of lower numbers - see our causes page), and the pollution of the ocean.