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21st: Throwback to November of 2008 for this photo of a snowy day and the main pond. Notice one of the 'legacy' rustic bird houses intended for wood ducks. #tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory
18th: A telephoto image of one of the many bald eagles who live at or visit the Refuge. This individual was perched on an old tree stump in the main pond on a windy day.
14th: Throwback to August of 1964, when Al Francesconi took this great photo of a baby eastern hog-nosed snake 'wandering' around the Refuge. #tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #hog-nosedsnakes
13th: Challenge to New Jersey bear hunt rejected by court
A challenge to New Jersey's bear hunt has been rejected by a state appeals court. The challenge, brought by the Animal Protection League of New Jersey, The League of Humane Voters of New Jersey as well as several individuals, was an attempt to stop the implementation of amendments introduced in 2015 that added a second annual hunt in October to the existing hunt in December, allowed bow hunting and increased the number of hunting permits.
Angi Metler, executive director of the Animal Protection League, told the New Jersey Herald: "Non-lethal black bear conflict management is key and the future, no matter what the courts say," she continued. "We're not giving up until that day arrives."
Bear hunting in New Jersey was reintroduced in 2003. In 2018, 140 bears were killed in October and 85 in December. Governor Phil Murphy made a promise to impose a moratorium on bear hunting when he took office, but has failed to deliver. To date, he has stopped bear hunting on public land only. Bears can still be tormented and killed on private land.
The annual slaughter of these majestic and sentient animals must end.
Please continue to call (609-292-6000) and tweet Governor Murphy urging him to end bear hunting on all lands in New Jersey (@GovMurphy promised to cancel the #bearhunt).
For further information: https://www.njherald.com/20190213/appellate-judges-reject-challenge-to-archery-expansion-of-bear-hunt
11th: If you look closely at the encircled portion of this photograph by Dave Sauder, one of our Trustees, you will see a stout turtle head. Dave was visiting the Refuge in January and saw several common snapping turtles swimming in the main pond. His observations remind us that these turtles are 'cold-tolerant' and can be active all winter long.
9th: Protest the squirrel killing contest in New Jersey
Winslow, New Jersey, is allowing a squirrel killing contest. Billed as the "First Annual Family Squirrel Classic", it is giving trophies and prizes to those, including children, who kill the most squirrels. This brutal and inhumane 'event' is scheduled for Saturday 16 February 2019.
PLEASE take time right now to voice your objection to this systematic slaughter of squirrels. Here is what you can do:
7th: Throwback to early in the Refuge's history to this fanciful sketch of a beaver kit with a lily pad on her head. Original artwork by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, Refuge co-founder. #tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory
4th: Another nice photo of plants at the Refuge, provided by Sage Russell. This one is of wild sarsaparilla, circa 2012.
31st: Throwback to 1967 and this exceptional photo of a tufted titmouse, taken by Al Francesconi. #tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #tuftedtitmouse
28th: A long-distance photo of a great egret flying near the outer border of the main pond during a fall day.
26th: Please sign and share this petition to stop the killing of deer in Essex County Parks (South Mountain, Hilltop, and Eagle Rock Reservations), New Jersey and instead adopt humane methods to deal with wildlife-people conflict and population control. The petition has been started by the League of Humane Voters, New Jersey.
White-tailed deer are one of the most easily recognized wildlife species in New Jersey; many of whom live at Unexpected Wildlife Refuge. Sadly, they are also one of the most persecuted species, cruelly hunted and killed with bow and arrows, shotguns and muzzle loading rifles.
Access the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/joseph-divincenzo-south-mountain-s-lethal-deer-policy-is-failing-it-s-time-for-change
24th: Throwback to many years ago to this delightful sketch of a cuckoo made by Edmund J Sawyer, artist, naturalist and father of Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, our co-founder. #tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory
22nd: Call for an end to the deer slaughter in Texas
Land's End, a residential community in East Texas, has started to trap wild deer in nets to be taken away and slaughtered. Deer are highly nervous animals and prone to stress and shock during capture. This is an inhumane way to address human-wildlife conflict. We urge the Land's End Homeowner's Association to stop this cruelty and instead to adopt humane methods.
Please write a polite message to the Board of the Land's End Homeowner's Association: http://www.landsendhoa.org/contactus/contact-hoa/ (their Web site is: http://www.landsendhoa.org/)
They also have a Twitter and Facebook accounts:
21st: We recently received a group of images from Sage Russell, of plants found at the Refuge. Although these are from several years ago, they are excellent photos of plants that live here, like the tall beaksedge pictured here.
18th: We and the coyotes who call our Refuge home urge you to sign this petition to stop extreme cruelty to coyotes in Wyoming
Wyoming allows 'yote whackin', a cruel and brutal practice that includes coyote killing contests and the chasing and killing of coyotes with snowmobiles. Coyotes are hunted all year in Wyoming. Considered a predatory animal in the State, no license is required to hunt them.
Please support the effort to protect coyotes in Wyoming. Sign the petition and write to the Governor of Wyoming (firstname.lastname@example.org). Further details can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/end-brutal-coyote-whacking-in-wyoming?fbclid=IwAR0YXNUKHBIFb1ufZt2VNj-wprNE_p_4SbNAz2RAuNwv05ja18GHn726yPA
17th: Throwback to a long time in the past to this drawing of a dolphin by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, our co-founder. Hope made sketches of a wide variety of species, not just those residing at the Refuge. #tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory
14th: This beaver lodge is on the far side of the main pond. Our habitat continues to entice beavers to stay and raise families.
13th: Support protests against deer hunting in New Jersey
Unexpected Wildlife Refuge provides a safe haven for white-tailed deer, one of the most easily recognized wildlife species in New Jersey. Shockingly, however, deer can be hunted and killed in 500,000 acres of state-owned public open space in NJ. Hunters are permitted to use not only shotguns, but also archaic and particularly cruel bow and arrows and muzzleloading rifles. They are allowed to spend over 100 days slaughtering these shy, elegant and engaging mammals. During 2017-2018, a staggering 48,545 deer were killed in NJ. This slaughter continues into 2019.
During January 2019, protests against deer hunting in Essex County are taking place. If you are able to, please support these events, taking signs (with polite, but firm messaging) with you:
South Mountain Reservation
Date & time: Saturday 19th January (between 11:30am-1:30pm)
Location: 560 Northfield Ave, West Orange, NJ (on the grassy surface, curbside, adjacent to the entrance of Turtle Back Zoo).
Date & time: Saturday 26th January (between 11:30am-1:30pm)
Location: Corner of Fairview Ave and Bloomfield Ave in Verona, NJ (on the curbside of Bloomfield Avenue)
For further details, contact Animal Protection League of New Jersey: https://aplnj.org/about/contact-apl/
10th: Throwback to 2015 and this photo of one of our rich bog areas. The pictured sphagnum moss sprinkled with fallen leaves of a variety of trees makes a lovely 'salad'. #tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory
7th: From earlier and warmer days at the Refuge, a bumblebee was gathering food from this buttonbush.
4th: Reason to Celebrate! After 180 years, beavers have returned to Milwaukee River. Milwaukee historian, John Gurda, reports in the Journal Sentinel. Although Gurda has eaten beaver meat in the past, he remarks, "What better way to start the new year than by cheering the return of these ancient natives to their ancestral home?" Read more at https://eu.jsonline.com/story/opinion/columnists/john-gurda/2019/01/03/beavers-return-downtown-milwaukee-thanks-new-arboretum/2463718002/
3rd: Throwback to 2009 and this lone Canada goose on the snow-covered and frozen main pond. Her or his friends were nearby. #tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #Canadagoose