Other NJ News

How Rutgers Alumni are Bringing Quail Back to New Jersey

Bobwhite Quail Credits: John Parke

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Outside Rutgers Gardens and a few other choice spots, this city and its high-rise apartment buildings and busy streets seemingly bear little connection to New Jersey's vast woodlands. Yet from this urban center, Rutgers University has managed to impact the wildest stretches of the state.

Just look at the Northern Bobwhite Quail.

Not long ago, the lack of young forests all but wiped out the bird in this state, according to experts. But a trio—whose members are all linked to Rutgers University—have made strides in recent years to change that. Under the leadership of the environmental group New Jersey Audubon, they have begun to reinvigorate South Jersey's quail population—and, with hard work and some good fortune, its forests.

Sign Up for E-News

“Quail were here before. This is something that was pretty common back in the '70s and even the '80s. Then they literally just kind of vanished,” John Parke, stewardship project director for New Jersey Audubon, which spearheads the quail restoration effort, told TAPinto New Brunswick. “The main goal here, though, even with bringing back the birds, is to look at these forest systems and see what the problems are.

“And believe me: Forests are in big trouble in this state.”

A potential quail habitat in South Jersey. Photo: John Parke

New Jersey Audubon's quail translocation project sounds complex, but the idea is simple. The birds boast a healthy breeding population in Georgia. So workers capture some in the wild there and bring them up to the Pine Barrens. Each bird is then collared and tracked.

In 2015, Parke said, the first known quail nesting since the 1980s occurred in the Pinelands.

As a whole, the state and its forests need more management, and the quail act as a motivator for private landowners and others to do just that, he said.

Here's where one of the project's several links to Rutgers comes in: The state's largest private landowner, Pine Island Cranberry Co., in Burlington County, has played a big role in returning quail here. And, as reported in a spring 2017 Rutgers Magazine piece, a university alumnus and his family own the 14,000 acres, most of which is untamed forest.

Bill Haines Jr., who graduated in 1975, has always needed to maintain healthy forests for the sake of his cranberries. For 17 years, that job has largely fallen on Bob Williams, a seasoned forester and fellow member of the Class of 1975, according to Rutgers.

Together, their work made Haines' land a strong candidate to host reintroduced birds.

The first quail nest of 2017. Photo: John Parke

Fate stepped in when Parke took an agricultural leadership and development class through Rutgers, in partnership with other state groups. He and his peers visited a number of sites throughout the state. And the first was Pine Island Cranberry Co.

There, he met a woman named Becca Fenstermaker, Haines' daughter. She and Parke hit it off, he said, and began to discuss how New Jersey Audubon and Pine Island could team up. Parke then met Haines and Williams, and from there they launched the larger, three-year quail research project to restore the birds to the wetlands.

“Those connections were unbelievable,” Parke, who teaches a bird identification class at the university, said. “Rutgers is a hub for all these different connections throughout the state and getting the word out.”

For Williams, Haines and any number of South Jersey landowners, the project whose seeds were planted at Rutgers more than 40 years ago has big stakes. It could help rejuvenate local forests, improving habitats and the wildlife that depend on it.

It could also help ward off a catastrophe.

“We're going to have a bad fire in South Jersey if something isn't done,” Williams told Rutgers Magazine. “We're going to be on CNN for days.”

But something is being done. Just how much it will help New Jersey's forests is unclear. If the birds are any indicator, though, things are looking up. As of today, Aug. 9, New Jersey Audubon researchers have already identified 12 quail nests in the area.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News



AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


I Need to Take Leave from Work Because of a Disability. What are My Rights and Obligations?

According to studies, as many as one in ten persons of working age in the United States have at least one disability.  As a result of a disability or illness, most of us will need to take extended leave during the course of a career.  If you or someone you know suffers from a disability or illness and needs to take time off from work, here are some important things to know:

Leave Can ...

Morris Animal Inn Hosts Live Q&A Session; Wednesday Feb. 28

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Do you have questions about grooming your dog? The Morris Animal Inn is hosting a Live Question and Answer Session on Wednesday February 28 at 11:30am. Tune in to have all your questions answered by Morris Animal Inn's Grooming Manager, Jayanne.

Morris Animal Inn offers:

Bath, brush out, ear cleaning and nail trim package
Haircut to your specifications
Healthy ...

71 Years After Leaving High School, Roxbury Man Gets Diploma

March 21, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – 90-year-old Chester “Chet” Jones had only four words to say Monday when presented with an honorary diploma from Roxbury High School: “That’s all I wanted.”

The lifelong Roxbury resident left high school in January of his senior year to work and then join the military, said Roxbury High School Guidance Director Emilie Bacchetta. She said failing ...

Top 10 Weekend travel Ideas in Somerset County - March 23 - 25 - Plus Easter Egg Hunts

March 23, 2018

Top Ten Things to do in Somerset County: 

Weekend Top 10: 3.23 to 3.25

1. 5k Race to Wellness, Duke Island Park

2. A Virtual Tour of the Moon, Duke Farms

3. Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, The Bernards Inn

4. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? – Opening Weekend, Villagers Theatre

5. Motown the Musical, State Theatre New ...

Hop On Over; Annual Easter Egg Hunts Take Place in Morris Township and Morristown

March 19, 2018

 MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ -  Grab those Easter baskets! Morris Township and Morristown kids are invited to area Easter Egg Hunts this month.

The Morris Township Volunteer Firefighers will be sponsoring 3 Easter Egg Hunts throughout the Township this month. The Fairchild Fire Department will have an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday March 24 at the Alfred Vail School. The hunt begins at ...

Law Enforcement Night Set for March 16th

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Please note that the LAW ENFORCEMENT NIGHT previously scheduled for last week will now be held this Friday at 7pm on March 16th at Mennen Arena.  Mennen Arena is at 161 E. Hanover Ave, Morristown, NJ.

The Morris Area Coalition for Education and Positive Choices is rapidly becoming a household name in Morris County.  Word is spreading about the many initiatives being ...

Parade Officials; Morristown's St. Patrick's Day Parade is ON

MORRISTOWN, NJ -   The powerful Nor'easter that ripped through our area has shut down streets and left many without power, but it has not stopped the Irish spirit. Organizers for the Morris County St. Patrick's Day parade announced that the St. Patrick's Day Parade is on! The parade and pre-parade festivities will go on as planned Saturday March 10.

Weekend-long Anniversary Event for The Shops at 980: Baby Crossing, The Depot and Paradise

March 21, 2018

Morristown’s The Depot, Baby Crossing and Paradise (The Shops at 980) are having an anniversary event beginning Thursday celebrating their first year together as Three Stores Under One Roof!

Starting Thursday morning customers can enjoy deals, giveaways and treats such as champagne and cupcakes! Please join us Thursday March 22nd through Sunday March 25th at 980 Mt Kemble Avenue (on Rt ...

County College of Morris Performing Arts and Cultural Events Spring 2018 Season

APRIL 2018:

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Wednesday through Saturday, April 11-14
7:30 p.m., Saturday matinee 2 p.m. Student Community Center Dragonetti Auditorium

The Broadway Theatre is crumbling and closing! To pay homage, past performers of the “Weismann Follies” have gathered there for a reunion and final goodbye to the historic landmark. Journey through ...

April Blood Drives Scheduled at 2 Morristown Locations

MORRISTOWN, NJ- New Jersey Blood Services, a division of New York Blood Center (NYBC) is asking for help to maintain an adequate supply of all blood types, but especially O-negative – the “universal” blood which can be transfused into anyone in an emergency.  In addition, hundreds of additional blood drives need to be scheduled to meet projected hospital demand.  ...

Student-Led March for Our Lives to Take Place in Morristown, Mar. 24

March 23, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Morristown and surrounding-area students are planning to participate in a movement called 'March for Our Lives' taking place on Saturday, March 24. Part of a nationwide movement to pass common-sense gun legislation in America, the students plan on gathering in several places across the state of New Jersey, including Morristown, Montclair, Maplewood, ...

More Snow on the Way? Winter Storm Watch Issued for Morristown

MORRISTOWN, NJ - With the official start of spring just days away, winter does not want to let go of its hold -- another Nor'easter is headed our way.  The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the area predicting 6 to 10 inches of new accumulation.

The warning is in effect Tuesday evening through Wednesday evening according to the NWS.  ...

CCM Announces Plans for an Engineering and Manufacturing Facility Meeting the Needs of Students and Employers

RANDOLPH, NJ – County College of Morris (CCM) will be meeting the demand to expand several popular academic areas and offer local businesses greater support in addressing their need for skilled employees through the construction of a $10 million Engineering and Manufacturing building.

The 30,000 square foot building will be constructed on the college’s Randolph campus.  ...

Applications Open for Annual Scholarships Offered by Alliance of Private Special Education Schools

March 22, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ - The Alliance of Private Special Education Schools of Northern New Jersey, a group of more than 30 state-approved private special education schools in northern and central New Jersey, has opened scholarship applications for graduating high school students with disabilities.

The scholarships are designed to empower, recognize and reward graduates with special needs. Students with ...

Outstanding Citizens To Be Honored at the Boy Scouts of America 23rd Annual Morris County Lifetime Achievement Awards Dinner

Boy Scouts of America, Patriots’ Path Council will be honoring local community members at the Boy Scouts of America 23rd Annual Morris County Lifetime Achievement Awards Dinner to be held on the evening of Thursday, April 19th at The Hanover Marriott in Whippany at 6:30 pm.  This year’s honorees are Reynaldo Caudillo, Bruce Jones, Michael Lupton, Ron Morano, Lou Nisivoccia, and ...

Recent Storms Close Morristown National Historical Park

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The past two storms have impacted the Morristown National Historical Park. There has been damage from downed trees, loss of power, dangling power lines, and two feet of snow have made conditions unsafe for the public in certain areas.

The following areas are CLOSED until further notice:
*Jockey Hollow (Visitor Center, trails, tour road)
*Fort Nonsense
*New Jersey ...

6 Easy Ways to Increase Zzzz’s During National Sleep Awareness Month and Beyond!

Team Nest Builder knows sleep deprivation leads to a myriad of problems, so we’re here to help you make your New Jersey home bedrooms the havens you deserve! Take a look at these simple ideas for increasing your zzzzz’s:

Soften Up

Employ a large area rug that covers the entire room to help absorb sound and enhance comfort.

Feeling Blue

According to a study by Travelodge, ...

Queen Mary and the Cruiser

Queen Mary and the Cruiser by David A. Thomas and Patrick Holmes (Naval Institute Press, 1997)

“Had the forenoon watch and after eating went out onto the fo'c'sle. Just arrived at the top of the ladder by the PO's heads when the wave hit me---waist high---and knocked me over. Looking astern---through the bulkhead door which was open, saw the stern of a ship sticking up out of ...

Valyrian Steel: Where is it All? Should We Still Care?

There is a glaring hole in recent Game of Thrones seasons that needs to be addressed: the ability of Valyrian steel to destroy White Walkers has not been acknowledged since before Jon Snow’s death.

In fact, it hasn’t been mentioned since the Season Five finale when Jon Snow reveals this discovery to Sam Tarly. Jon has cared about little more than the war between the living and ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

National Student Walk Out: MCST Students Have Had #Enough

March 22, 2018

DENVILLE, NJ - On March 14, nearly 1 million teenagers across the country stood up and walked out of school as part of a nationwide protest calling upon Congress to take action against gun violence. I am proud to have been one of them.

Undeterred by the small size of the school, my friends and classmates at Morris County School of Technology in Denville participated in the national event ...

The Role of Meal Replacements in Weight Loss

Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the United States and in other developed and developing countries. The prevalence of obesity is increasing not only in adults, but also in children and adolescents. We all know that obesity is a significant risk factor for various chronic illnesses, most importantly heart disease and diabetes, but also cancer and osteoarthritis, liver and kidney disease, ...

Suspicious Person, Outstanding Warrants and Drugs Top This Week's Police Blotter

March 19, 2018

3/11: ARRESTS FOR NARCOTICS: Officers executed a motor-vehicle stop at the Tourne County Park in Boonton Township. An investigation led to Andrew M. Dodson, age 23, of Montville Township, to be charged with Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Driving While Intoxicated; and Manoj  Muthukumaran, age 23, of Montville Township, to be ...

Michael V. Colvin Joins Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP

March 21, 2018

SARASOTA, FL – The law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, is pleased to announce that Michael V. Colvin has joined the firm as a member of the Broker-Dealer Litigation and Arbitration team. For more than 15 years, Michael served as vice president and counsel for Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management Division in New York.

Michael V. Colvin is a member of a team of Shumaker ...