Here is our latest newsletter to keep you informed about just a few of the activities and issues concerning Unexpected Wildlife Refuge.
Unexpected Wildlife Refuge has new manager
We are pleased to announce that we have hired Jared White as the new onsite manager for the Refuge! Jared, shown here with Jack, one of his canine companions, is a long-time vegan and animal advocate. He comes to us with years of experience working with and caring for rescued non-human animals. His "love of the outdoors and co-existing in nature with wildlife" fit in with Unexpected's mission and core philosophy. In addition to looking forward to the physical challenges of managing the Refuge, Jared is eager to apply his skills in public relations and volunteer organizing to ensure that the wildlife continue to have a safe place to thrive consistent with their needs. You can reach him by telephone at 856.697.3541 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Change means new opportunities
Much of the year, our main pond is a relatively open body of water, providing a home for many species of animals and plants. During the summer months, lily pads and other plants burgeon, creating a rich, green tableau. With this come new opportunities for others who depend on the lily pads for food and shelter. Here you can see just how dense the lily pads were in June. Contrast this with the situation just a few months ago, when the surface of the pond was frozen and covered with snow. Note the footprints and lens flare similar to those in a photo we shared a while ago.
Black vultures survey our headquarters
If you look closely, you can see several black vultures in this tree which stands near our headquarters. Although some people may not think these individuals are 'attractive', beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We think they are physically appealing, especially when watching their graceful soaring through the sky. Of course, they are a critical part of the ecosystem, helping maintain the cycle of life and death through their scavenging. We are not sure, however, what was their interest in our headquarters...
Walking stick and Refuge sign
Although this photo was taken many months ago, we thought you might enjoy seeing this walking stick on one of our signs. Walking sticks comprise just a few of the myriad of insects who live at the Refuge. It seems apropos that this individual chose to settle on a sign announcing protection of wildlife. (As an aside, you might notice that this sign was nailed to a tree, something that no longer is allowed at the Refuge. Our current policy is that all signs must be placed on posts independent of plant life. One of our long-term projects is to replace all signs attached to trees and we are always in need of volunteers to assist with this task. If you are interested in helping, let us know.)
Phellinus fungus on tree
There are numerous species of the genus Phellinus. These fungi grow on trees, as seen here on one of the many pine trees growing on Refuge land.
Refuge presence at annual Lines on the Pines event
We once again were invited to and attended the annual Lines on the Pines event. Thanks to our Trustees Dave Sauder (pictured here) and Janet Romano, we made more people aware of the Refuge and our mission to protect wildlife from harmful exploitation.
Hooded mergansers on main pond
This mated pair of hooded mergansers were seen a few months ago, swimming in the main pond. Although the female is not as colorful as the male, this one is showing the striking crest of feathers along the top of the head and neck. We hope we will be lucky enough to see and photograph their babies at some point.
Below is a series of photos showing a group of four individuals as they took off from the main pond.
Raindrop creates upside-down reflection of surrounding forest
We posted this photo on Instagram a few months ago, but never got around to sharing it with those who might not regularly follow that medium. If you look closely, you can see that the raindrop on the end of this branch provided an inverse reflection of the surrounding forest.
Below are just some of the current petitions available to help wildlife, whether living freely or imprisoned in circuses, zoos or other venues. We urge you to take the time to sign each and share with others.
This 'teacher' drowned these raccoons in front of his students. Voice your outrage about this horrific and unconscionable cruelty perpetrated against these raccoons (and the students who had to view this atrocity).
Starbucks and other companies provide plastic straws that end up not only polluting land and water, they also endanger wildlife like this sea turtle. We must eliminate all 'single-use' plastic regardless of what it is. Let Starbucks know that you disapprove of their practices that are causing serious wildlife and environmental pollution problems.
Whales may seem a far cry from the New Jersey Pinelands, but their fate is inextricably interconnected. Please sign and share. There is no justification for whaling: it is exceptionally cruel, immoral and biologically senseless.
We should be converting to a plant-based diet, but until then, we need to at least minimize 'collateral' damage to those not intended to be eaten. Mandating that certain habitats are off-limits for fishing is a start. Although it is too late for this whale shark and her baby who died after being 'inadvertently' caught, your support for this petition may help others.
No species should become extinct as a result of human activities. We share this world with others, not own it. Please urge the Chinese government to intercede on the behalf of green peafowl.
As you might guess, we are opposed to keeping wildlife in captivity. Adding insult to injury by using animals such as lions as 'performers' in circuses is particularly repugnant. We need to ban all captive wildlife use in the 'entertainment' industry.
The wildlife living at the Refuge need your help, too
Helping wildlife and the Refuge in the future
We remind you to please remember Unexpected Wildlife Refuge when planning your will and estate. It is an easy, effective and lasting way to help the Refuge... and wildlife. When talking with your estate planner, just provide them with our name, address and tax identification number (23-7025010). This is one of the most important gifts the Refuge can receive. If you have already included us in your future plans, thank you!
Our newsletters are the result of a team effort involving people dedicated to protecting wildlife in general and furthering the Refuge in particular:
Unexpected Wildlife Refuge
Mailing address: P.O. Box 765, Newfield, NJ 08344-0765
Web site: http://unexpectedwildliferefuge.org/