LOGAN TWP. — The NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) has placed two habitats for the endangered Kestrel at the DREAM Park located in Gloucester County.
The American kestrel (Falco sparverius) is North America’s smallest and most widely distributed falcon. Kestrels occupy large open areas with short vegetation. They are second cavity nesters, utilizing cavities that are naturally occurring or excavated by woodpeckers.
This once-common inhabitant of fallow fields and pastures has declined in recent years, and the reasons are largely unknown. In February 2012, the American kestrel became listed as a State Threatened species.
Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger said, “It is exciting that the DREAM Park has been designated as a suitable habitat to attract the endangered Kestrel. Kestrels have been observed in the area of the park and other areas of Gloucester County and through this program we hope to help promote the education of the bird and its resurgence.”
Damminger said, “We have learned through the program that habitat loss and nesting availability are two of the major obstacles facing Kestrels. The birds occupy large open areas with short vegetation, and as these areas are developed and fragmented, they become too small to remain suitable for the Kestrels. Also, since these birds are second cavity nesters, the lack of older trees limits the availability of nest locations. This is why the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife and the DREAM Park become partners with the nest box program.”
Information about the Kestrel program can be found at http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/ensp/raptor_info.htm#kestrel.