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Ecology of Tenafly Nature Center

Within its nearly 400 acre expanse, Tenafly Nature Center hosts two ecosystems, brimming with natural biodiversity and actively managed with human effort too. TNC encourages all (including first-time visitors) to learn more about the thriving flora (plants) and fauna (animals) that inhabit TNC and the surrounding environment.

Nature's Calendar (Seasonal Natural Events)

These calendars will hopefully entice you to come up and explore the trails more often! Dates are only approximate. Email us about your weekly sightings from the TNC trails.

Spring


Read up on activity going on like hearing the bull frogs at their loudest at Pfister’s Pond.

Summer


Read up on activity going on like looking for the white blossoms of Shadbush (a small tree) along the DeFilippi boardwalk.

Autumn


Read up on activity going on like listening for the “ chimp - chimp ” call of Winter Wrens as they scurry mouse like along the boardwalk or low bushes.

Winter


Read up on activity going on like the Great Horned Owls hooting to announce their territories and maintain the pair-bond.

Plant & Wildlife Checklists

Fungi & Plants


Plants and fungi are two different kingdoms that comprise a large portion of species on earth. There are several things that differ among fungus and plants:

  • Plants reproduce through seeds and pollen; fungi reproduce through spores.
  • Plants have chlorophyll and can produce their own food; fungi cannot produce their own food and live off others.
  • Plants have roots, stems and leaves; fungi have filaments..
  • Plants are producers; fungi are decomposers..
  • The cell walls on plants are made of cellulose, while those of fungi are made of chitin.
View the checklist of the 139+ fungi and plant species found at TNC.

Invertebrates


Invertebrates are animals which do not have an internal spinal/skeletal structure. Instead some invertebrates, such as ants (insects) or crabs (crustaceans) have an exoskeleton while others, such as worms (annelids) have a fluid filled hydrostatic skeleton.

Invertebrates comprise more than 98% of Earth's animal species and are the world's most abundant animal class. There are over 1,000,000 species known to science, many are still undiscovered.

View the checklist of the 100+ invertebrate species found at TNC.

Reptiles & Amphibians


Reptiles and amphibians both have a internal skeletal system, are cold blooded (body temperature is determined by the surrounding environment), and lay eggs.

There are approximately 4,600 amphibian and 6,000 reptile species. The study of amphibians and reptiles is known as Herpetology.

  • Amphibians have smooth permeable skin and include three groups of animals: frogs, salamanders and caecilians.
  • Reptiles have scaly skin and include turtles, crocodilians, lizards, snakes and tuatara.
View the checklist of the 25+ Reptile and Amphibian species found at TNC.

Birds


Birds are warm-blooded animals with a backbone whose bodies are covered with feathers and whose forelimbs are modified into wings. Most can fly.

There are approximately 10,000 bird species known to science.

New Jersey Bird Records Committee collects records of rare birds reported in New Jersey, and maintains a list of all species seen in the state.

View the checklist of the 189+ bird species found at TNC.

Mammals


Mammals are warm blooded; body temperature remains within a constant temperate range regardless of environmental conditions. All mammals have fur or hair, give live birth and readily provide milk to newly born offspring.

There are approximately 4,000 mammal species known to science.

View the checklist of the 24+ Mammal species found at TNC.

Other New Jersey's Wildlife Checklists


There are approximately 450 species of vertebrate wildlife found within New Jersey. This wildlife diversity is due in part to New Jersey's geographic position, varied landscapes and vegetation, and providing  a large variety of habitats which support an abundant amount of wildlife.

View the NJ Department of Environmental Protection : Division of Fish, Game & Wildlife.

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