Green

Rutgers Biologist Wins Statewide NJ Audubon Award for Conservation

80c1644a1598f6074005_P1010226_crop.jpg
Credits: Professor Burger
80c1644a1598f6074005_P1010226_crop.jpg

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A highly-accomplished professor of biology at Rutgers University, who has completed and published numerous research studies on many nongame and endangered wildlife species, including marine birds, shorebirds, herpetofauna, and butterflies, has been named this year’s recipient of New Jersey Audubon’s “Richard Kane Conservation Award.”

Dr. Joanna Burger is honored for a lifetime of wildlife research work, in which she has focused on New Jersey conservation issues and has made invaluable scientific and educational contributions to New Jersey wildlife conservation. Burger has served on New Jersey's Endangered and Nongame Species Advisory Committee since 1980. 

Dr. Burger, a resident of Somerset, was honored at the 70th anniversary of the New Jersey Audubon annual fall meeting, held Oct. 21-23 in Cape May.

Sign Up for E-News

“I am very pleased to receive this award for lifetime conservation, as I have spent 45 years working on the Jersey shore to preserve habitat for a wide range of birds in danger,” she said. “Preserving birds in a coastal habitat is an ongoing process because of the increasing human pressure all the time. If we can continue to preserve habitats, we can preserve these populations.”

The professor noted she has done considerable work on the Delaware River for 25 years, in an effort to preserve the endangered Red Knot, a delicate bird which feeds on Horseshoe Crab eggs. Because of over-harvesting, the Horseshoe Crab population has been dwindling, having a drastic effect on the shore bird.

The decline in Red Knot populations has chiefly been caused by the lack of sufficient eggs for foraging birds on the Delaware Bay. Prior to the over-harvest of Horseshoe Crabs, the Red Knot weight rate increase on the Delaware Bay was the highest in the world, recorded at nearly 9 grams a day in the late 1990s. The rate declined to a low of 2 grams a day in 2002. Low weight gain rates results in fewer birds reaching the arctic breeding grounds and higher adult mortality.

Dr. Burger has been calling for continued conservation, and a stronger understanding of life history, to protect the Red Knot.

“Dr. Burger is internationally recognized for her long-term studies of the behavioral ecology of colonial-nesting waterbirds, her cutting-edge work with waterbirds as indicators of ecosystem health, and for being a mentor and role model to more than 54 graduate students, many of whom have become conservation leaders in New Jersey,” said Eric Stiles, president & CEO of New Jersey Audubon.

Stiles said that Burger’s work has contributed significantly to further the state’s understanding of behavioral biology, bird ecology, ecotoxicology, contaminant risk analysis and environmental policy. 

Over the last 35 years during her tenure at Rutgers University, she has been a leader in scientific research, community service and teaching.  Her research has resulted in more than 700 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and 20 books.  These endeavors have been supported by a variety of sources, including federal and state agencies and private foundations.

“In recent years, New Jersey Audubon has been pleased to collaborate with Dr. Burger on several initiatives to evaluate the potential adverse effects of human disturbance on shorebirds staging in Delaware Bay during spring migration and on shorebirds nesting along the state’s southern coastlines,” Stiles said. “Her contribution has been enormous and immeasurable.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Edison

East Brunswick School Board Member Arrested on Prostitution Charges

April 20, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Robert Cancro, 66, a member of the East Brunswick Board of Education, was one of numerous men arrested and charged with engaging in prostitution as part of an ongoing investigation by the Hazlet Police of a location on Route 36. 

Cancro was elected to the Board last year.  He has served as a teacher and an administrator for many ...

Stories About Juvenile Death Row Inmates Featured in New “Docu-play”

April 13, 2018

HIGHLAND PARK, NJ - The United States is apparently the only country in the world where children are given death sentences.

A new documentary play by Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg titled Life, Death, and Life Again: Children Sentenced to Die in Prison is being performed with coLAB Arts at the Reformed Church in Highland Park. The play will tell the true stories of people who committed violent ...

An Evening of Shining Stars Set for Friday May 4th

April 21, 2018

One of the area’s most anticipated events — “An Evening of Shining Stars” — featuring members of the special needs community from Cranford and around Union County, will take place on Friday May 4th, 2018 at 7:00 pm.

Founded by Cranford resident Sally Curci, the 7th annual showcase will feature “Music From the Decades” — with the cast set to ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...