MORRISTOWN, N.J., Sept. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife Services and the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife worked together to save an osprey nest this summer in Monmouth County by moving it to a new location. The ospreys, a threatened species, had endangered themselves and created the potential to disrupt service to customers by building the nest on top of a JCP&L utility pole with energized wires.
JCP&L line crews from Union Beach volunteered their time over a weekend to install a new pole and nest box, then carefully moved the osprey nest and eggs to the new location. The nest box was built by a local Eagle Scout who helped initiate the project.
"I am proud of our employees for their dedication and support of this project because it mirrors the company's commitment to protecting the environment," said JCP&L President Jim Fakult. "By working together with USDA and the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife we can help support a better future for threatened wildlife like the osprey."
"There was an urgent need to remove and transfer the nest because of where it was located," said Kimberly Gurlavich, USDA APHIS, wildlife biologist. "The JCP&L line crews were extremely professional and diligent in their efforts. They maintained the integrity of the nest and eggs as well as the welfare of the birds."
In the past, osprey numbers were at risk but have since undergone a resurgence and are found virtually worldwide, near coasts, lakes and rivers where they hunt for food. In New Jersey, the population had dropped to just 50 pairs in the mid 1970s. Since then, New Jersey osprey numbers have recovered to near historic levels of more than 480 nesting pairs. Developing alternative nesting sites have played an important part in the recovery.
JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE). JCP&L serves 1.1 million New Jersey customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.
Editor's Note: Photos of JCP&L line crews moving the osprey nest in Monmouth County are available for download on Flickr.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.