Wildlife biologists report 145 osprey chicks were produced from 110 nests throughout the state this year. With the number of breeding pairs steadily increasing over the past 15 years, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife has removed the osprey from the state’s threatened species list.
The Division of Wildlife uses six categories to list species: endangered, threatened, species of concern, special interest, extirpated and extinct to further define the status of selected wildlife. Ospreys no longer meet the criteria for any of these categories.
“Osprey populations continue to increase in Ohio, especially in northeast Ohio where three-quarters of the 15 new osprey nests have been reported.”” said Dave Sherman, osprey project coordinator for the Division of Wildlife. “Their increase in numbers is excellent news for Ohio.”
The osprey’s breeding range has grown to include nests in 30 Ohio counties, producing an average of 1.8 chicks per nest.
Ohio’s osprey reintroduction program was originally started in 1996, and the goal of the program was to have 20 nesting pairs of ospreys by 2010. That goal was achieved in 2003, seven years ahead of schedule. Last year, 92 breeding pairs were reported.
No state tax dollars are used for this program. Efforts to monitor Ohio’s osprey have been supported by the Wildlife Diversity and Endangered Species Fund, which receives donations from Ohioans through the state income tax check-off program and by the purchase of cardinal license plates. Individuals who are interested may donate online at wildohio.com.
The new Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp provides an additional funding opportunity to support conservation, especially among wildlife watchers, photographers, campers, hikers and others who support wildlife causes. The $15 collectible Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp is available annually and highlights a different wildlife species each year chosen through a photo competition.
Logo courtesy of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources