Habitat fragmentation has a large negative impact on biodiversity; animals need to be able to move through the landscape to find food, mates, and other resources. Roadways often intersect habitats and reduce wildlife habitat permeability; therefore, long-term persistence of populations is jeopardized. New Jersey's extensive road network has been shown to impact wildlife populations in multiple ways, including direct mortality of individuals and creating barriers to wildlife movement and genetic exchange.
The Project aims to identify wildlife crossing and mortality hotspots by surveying selected road segments three times per week from March to May 2013. Evidence of wildlife crossing and road mortality will be recorded and photographed by volunteers throughout Northern New Jersey. The results of this project will be integrated into New Jersey’s Habitat Connectivity Project and used to identify and validate GIS-modeled movement corridors and prioritize wildlife crossing hotspots for supplemental monitoring.
Wildlife Guardians Project is a collaborative effort with Montclair State University and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The Project is being coordinated by Dr. Meiyin Wu, Director of Passaic River Institute and Associate Professor in the Department of Biology and Molecular Biology and CSAM graduate students, Kelly Triece, Natalie Sherwood, and Roger Gonzalez.
Learn more about the project and how to participate at Northjersey.com.