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Staggering osprey rebound shows impact of conservation efforts: 'A testament to the dedication of DEP professionals and volunteers'

"A milestone in the history of wildlife conservation."

"A milestone in the history of wildlife conservation."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Human activities have resulted in a huge number of animal species becoming extinct or threatened. But humans can also aid in the recoveries of those species, as evidenced by the case of the osprey, which is on the verge of being taken off the New Jersey endangered species list, the Lavallette-Seaside Shorebeat reported.

Ospreys, also known as sea hawks, river hawks, or fish hawks, are large raptors that patrol coastlines looking for fish to dive into the water and catch. In the 1970s, there were only around 50 osprey nests left in New Jersey. Today, thanks to concerted efforts from conservationists and local citizens, there are around 800.

One of the major factors that aided in the recovery of osprey populations was the banning of DDT, a toxic pesticide, in 1972. The ban has been credited with saving both ospreys and bald eagles.

A lot of individual humans in New Jersey also deserve credit for helping the ospreys to thrive (or, at least, not be in imminent danger of extinction) by taking climate action. Shore residents have banded together over the past three decades to save the iconic birds, building nests themselves, setting up cameras to livestream the hatching of chicks, and working to raise awareness of the ospreys' plight.

"The de-listing of eagles and ospreys is a milestone in the history of wildlife conservation in New Jersey and is a testament to the dedication of DEP professionals and volunteers who over the years stood watch over nests in all forms of weather, nurtured hatchlings, and worked tirelessly to educate the public about the importance of sustaining wildlife diversity," said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette.

Efforts to save the ospreys (and other seabirds) have not just been limited to New Jersey, either. Similar steps have been taken in places like South Australia, which recently had a livestream of a hatching osprey chick. Off the coast of the United Kingdom, Danish wind farm company Ørsted built three massive artificial bird nests to help support populations of a seabird called the kittiwake.

According to the Shorebeat, the DEP will hear comments on the proposed removal of the osprey from the list until Aug. 2.

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