DIRECTOR OF WILDLIFE REHABILITATION & EDUCATION
Jayson Hajek attended Clarkson University from 2007-2013, receiving a B.S. Degree in Biology with Distinction and a Masters Degree in Basic Science, with a concentration in Wildlife Conservation.
To date, Jayson has assisted in the identification of 25 threatened and endangered wildlife species. These species were reported to the NJDEP to enhance their protection in local areas. As an avid birder, Jayson has also identified and cataloged over 100 local and migrating bird species. Knowing what bird species call the area home has been crucial in the team’s native plant selection, ensuring that selected species provide the greatest habitat and food sources.
To combat the loss of the monarch butterfly, Jayson has co-directed a milkweed for monarchs initiative, which focuses on the growth and restoration of the milkweed plant–the only plant monarch butterflies use to lay their eggs. Over the past 5 years, he has also helped organize 8 state park cleanups, removing oil drums, car parts, discarded appliances, and over 400 bags of trash from the Ramapo Mountain area.
In December 2015, Jayson was awarded the Bergen County Audubon Society Harold Feinberg Conservation Award. This award is presented annually to an individual who demonstrates a commitment to conservation and bettering the environment for both wildlife and the local community. Currently, Jayson is pursuing his federal and state license in avian wildlife rehabilitation, and is leading his team’s wildlife division. After his licensure, Jayson plans on directing an avian wildlife rehabilitation center, providing help for injured wildlife in an area that locally has no resource to help birds.
Since the formation of Restore Native Plants Team, Jayson has helped lead the way for the team’s success, inheriting a wealth of knowledge about plant and wildlife identification along the way. To date, Jayson has helped to identify 11 state endangered plant and animal species, as well as over 60 species of local songbirds. In addition, he has become highly proficient with plant propagation techniques, and has used this knowledge to assist in the propagation of over 3,000 milkweed seedlings to be distributed for use in local butterfly gardens.