Endangered Species are those whose prospects for survival are in immediate danger because of a loss or change in habitat, over-exploitation, predation, competition, disease, disturbance or contamination.
Threatened Species are those who may become endangered if conditions surrounding them begin to or continue to deteriorate.
NJDEP maintains a database of Threatened and Endangered (T&E) Species in NJ. If you spot a T&E, you can report it to DEP to be added to the database, click here for the form and submission instructions: https://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/ensp/rprtform.htm
Native wildlife including pollinator species that farmers, gardeners and all rely on need conservation and care. Providing habitat and food sources is important and can be done on the local level. The NJ State Wildlife Action Plan was revised in 2018 as a strategic and cost-effective strategy for preserving the states wildlife resources for the future. The plan identifies species of greatest conservation need as well as 107 focal species that are of the highest conservation priority. The complete plan can be downloaded here.
Native plants, trees and shrubs help conserve and filter water, provide habitat for native wildlife, protect soil resources, and reduce the costs and environmental impacts associated with fertilizers and pesticides. Native vegetation is needed to support the ecosystem and helps keep invasives at bay. Replacing or adding native vegetation whenever possible is something Environmental Commissions can be advocating for in their communities. The Native Plant Society of NJ and Jersey Friendly Yards have many resources available about native plants. A brochure about Native Plants can be found here
NJ like many states in the US has a growing problem with invasive insects and animals. Invasive species like the Spotted Lantern Fly can be very devastating to crops and hardwood trees. Information about other invasive insects of concern can be found here. Aquatic invasive species can outcompete native species becoming a significant threat. A number of non-native animals can be found in New Jersey.
The NJDEP does have an Invasive Species Council and the NJ Invasive Species Strike Team is actively involved in monitoring invasive species and working to eradicate them.
NJ like many states in the US has a growing problem with invasive plants. When a plant species is introduced to a new environment in which it becomes invasive, it proliferates, spreads and takes over natural habitats. The NJ Invasive Species Strike Team has resources about identifying and eradicating invasive species. Developing a do not plant list for your municipality can help curb the spread of invasives.