Wild New Jersey: Nature Adventures in the Garden State

Overview


The fastest animal on earth dive-bombs him from the skies. A young black bear bounds up a mountain trail a few yards away. Poisonous snakes swirl at his feet. A thousand bats careen past his head in a pitch-black roost. Pods of dolphins swim right past him by the scores. Who? Experienced naturalist David Wheeler. Where? In Wild New Jersey, of course. 

Wild New Jersey invites readers along Wheeler’s whirlwind year-long tour of the most ecologically diverse state for its ...

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Overview


The fastest animal on earth dive-bombs him from the skies. A young black bear bounds up a mountain trail a few yards away. Poisonous snakes swirl at his feet. A thousand bats careen past his head in a pitch-black roost. Pods of dolphins swim right past him by the scores. Who? Experienced naturalist David Wheeler. Where? In Wild New Jersey, of course. 

Wild New Jersey invites readers along Wheeler’s whirlwind year-long tour of the most ecologically diverse state for its size in America. Along with the expert guidance of charismatic wildlife biologists and local conservationists, he explores mountains, valleys, beaches, pine barrens, caves, rivers, marshlands, and more—breathtaking landscapes and the state’s Noah’s Ark of fascinating creatures.

This isn’t your ordinary ride on the Jersey Turnpike. Fasten your seatbelts and join Wheeler as he . . .

  • Kayaks through the Meadowlands under the watchful eye of the Empire State Building,
  • Pans for cretaceous fossils in a hidden brook once home to mastodons and giant sloths,
  • Rides a fishing boat in the frigid snows of winter on a high-seas quest for Atlantic puffins,
  • Trudges through the eerie darkness of a bog on a mysterious night hike,
  • Dogsleds across the windswept alpine slopes in the haunts of the porcupine and bobcat. 

With Wheeler’s compelling narrative, in-depth background details, and eye for revealing the offbeat, you can count this as the first nature book to paint the extraordinary picture of New Jersey’s unlikely wilderness in all its glory. Come along for all the adventure and insight in Wild New Jersey!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

New Jersey is called the Garden State, but few of us instantly associate it with nature. David Wheeler has devoted much of his life to doing just that: He is the founder of the nature blog, WildNewJersey.tv; writes stories on conservation for The Star-Ledger; and serves as the director of operations for the nonprofit Edison Wetlands Association. Wild New Jersey the book serves as an armchair tour of the state's environmental wonders. Wheeler invites readers along on a fascinating yearlong tour of New Jersey's wildlife and ecology. An eye-opening guide to the world outside our windows.

Star-Ledger

"This book is for anyone in the Garden State with the teeniest spark of adventure and enthusiasm. From your easy chair, Wheeler will take you places you've never been."
Hackensack Riverkeeper

"Once you read this book, don't be surprised if you find yourself going straight to the nearest outdoor adventure, whether it be boating and birding the Meadowlands, hiking the Appalachian Trail, or exploring the Pinelands."
— Captain Bill Sheehan

President, New Jersey Audubon Society - Tom Gilmore

"Wild New Jersey brings the reader on a real-life safari through the Garden State's wildlife and natural wonders."
Director, New Jersey Sierra Club - Jeff Tittel

"What is wonderful about this book is it shows we still have wild places left even in the middle of our state's most developed urban areas. This book captures why we must preserve what's left of nature in New Jersey—and it reads like a page-turner you can't put down."
Deputy Director, NY/NJ Baykeeper - Gregory A. Remaud

"Wheeler provides an entertaining overview of the diversity of wildlife in New Jersey that challenges the notion that our state is merely a crowded, overdeveloped stretch of toxic sites. He weaves carefully selected information into a fast-paced, hard-to-put-down story. It's not often we can refer to a book about nature as a 'page turner.'"
author of A Naturalist Along the New Jersey Shore - Joanna Burger

"Full of exciting tales about New Jersey, from the crowded urban areas to the most remote places of the state."
Hackensack Riverkeeper - Captain Bill Sheehan

"Once you read this book, don't be surprised if you find yourself going straight to the nearest outdoor adventure, whether it be boating and birding the Meadowlands, hiking the Appalachian Trail, or exploring the Pinelands."
former Governor of New Jersey - James Florio

"As someone who has worked through many of the environmental challenges we face in New Jersey, I celebrate New Jersey's unique role in America's environmental movement. Wild New Jersey captures what is at stake in our fight to clean up, restore, and protect our beautiful natural areas, from the pristine heart of the Pinelands to the ecological restorations of Superfund sites"
writer and author - Tony Hiss

"Wild New Jersey may sound like fantasy—but this inspiring book is all reality. It's David Wheeler's great gift that he can continually see the treeline behind the skyline and hear the wild birds calling beyond the traffic's roar. He is the great champion and re-explorer of the state's magnificent wilderness and natural resoloence that 400 years of development has often threatened but never erased; he is also the cherisher and celebrator of those struggling natural areas that intrepod local residents are nursing back to like with great success. Here is a book that will change your understanding of where you are, and show you the wild strength and beauty that is still the heartheat of the nation's most urbanized state."
Former Deputy Commissioner of NJDEP, and President of Conservation Resources - Michael Catania

"While many people view New Jersey as the as a kind of 'ground zero' in the conflict between development and preservation, David Wheeler reminds us in this beautifully written book that human efforts over the last 40 years to protect our environment and preserve open space—coupled with Nature's amazing resiliency—have made the Garden State an incredible place to enjoy wildlife both rare and common. Reading Wild New Jersey will make you flush with pride to be a New Jerseyan, while you reach for your hiking boots and binoculars to follow in David's intrepid footsteps."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813549217
  • Publisher: Rivergate Books
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Series: Rivergate Book Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,403,756
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


DAVID WHEELER is the director of operations for the nonprofit Edison Wetlands Association. He founded the nature blog, WildNewJersey.tv, and has written conservation stories for The Star-Ledger and other media.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

Part 1 The Rugged Northwest

1 Wawayanda Wilderness: A Quest for Black Bears 7

2 The Carnivore Corridor of Stokes Forest 12

3 High Point's Call of the Wild 18

4 The Mountain Kingdom of Rattlesnakes 24

Part 2 The Urban Northeast

5 Volcanic Cliffs over the Big Apple 33

6 Urban Jungle on the Hudson 40

7 Snowy Owls in the Shadow of Liberty 47

8 The Meadowlands: Nature Reborn 55

9 Commuting by Wing in New York Harbor 62

10 The Raritan's Industrial Wilderness 68

Part 3 The Jersey Shore

11 Captain Morgan and the Sargasso Sea Voyagers 77

12 The Lost World of Jurassic Jersey 82

13 Great White Hunter 88

14 The Final Frontier: Birding the Open Atlantic 99

15 Wild Summer at the Jersey Shore 108

Part 4 The Cape and Pines

16 Moby-Dick; or, Call Me Cetacean 119

17 Cape May: The Never-ending Migration 126

18 Triassic Meets Arctic on the Delaware Bay 134

19 Bald Eagles on a Bayshore Bayou 140

20 The Mysteries of the Pine Barrens: Fire 146

21 The Mysteries of the Pine Barrens: Water 152

Part 5 The Heartland

22 Wild Nights in Suburbia 159

23 The Croc Hunter of the Diz 166

24 Serpent Eden in the Great Swamp 174

25 Night Falls on New Jersey's Bats 180

26 A Journey in Time from Farm to Field 185

27 Delaware Water Gap: A Wonder of the World 195

28 The Road to Crater Lake 200

Nature Centers in New Jersey 207

Suggested Reading 211

Index 227

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