Are you a landowner who wants to make young forest on your property? A land manager who’d like to learn more about this important habitat? A natural resources professional looking for more-technical information? If you are interested in adapting one of these resources for your own state or organization, please contact the author of the resource directly.

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Outreach plan to help partners implement the conservation strategy for the New England cottontail, 27 February 2019

These birds, reptiles, and mammals need young forest to survive (7.5 MB file). Images for educational purposes only. Copyright for photos resides with photographers who generously supplied their work for this gallery.

36-page illustrated publication providing detailed information on how to create and maintain habitat for cottontails (17.8 MB file).

Scientific research article by L.E. Fenderson, et al, in 2014 Ecology and Evolution.

Technical report by Adrienne I. Kovach and Thea V. Kristensen, University of New Hampshire, December 2017 (4.85 MB download).

Habitat Suitability Index for evaluating habitat for New England cottontails on 60 managed sites. Masters degree thesis by Alena Warren, published December 2017.

Scientific research article in March 2016 PLoS ONE, published 2016, explaining how different landscape features allow New England cottontails to disperse and exchange genetic material between populations, and how other landscape features impede dispersal and genetic exchange (4.75 MB...

Bylaws for promoting recovery, restoration, and conservation of the New England cottontail.

MOU between Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Tools and process to inform and support agencies, decision-makers, and conservation organizations in multistate effort to conserve the New England cottontail.

Members of Executive and Technical Committees working to conserve the New England cottontail.

List of working groups and individuals working to conserve the New England cottontail.

Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for the New England cottontail in southern New Hampshire.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service document describing status of New England cottontail and agencies and programs conserving the species.

Protocol for estimating the density of vegetation in habitat patches.

Protocol for managing New England cottontail populations. (Under development; will be posted in future.)

Manual describing protocol for captive breeding and husbandry of New England cottontails.

Guidance to natural resources professionals on how to communicate about New England cottontail conservation to different audiences.

Scientific research paper by scientists associated with the University of Massachusetts explains how small forest openings - sometimes called patch cuts - can provide habitat for several birds listed by various states as species of conservation concern (603 KB download).

Scientific research paper in Northeastern Naturalist by Joan C. Milam, et al, on how native bees use flowers that grow abundantly in habitat areas being managed as young forest and shrubland for species such as American woodcock and New England cottontail (800 KB download).

28-page manual detailing the best ways to make and manage habitat for this rare regional rabbit; 2013 edition (4.95 MB file).

28-page manual detailing the best ways to make and manage habitat for this rare regional rabbit; 2017 edition (7.3 MB file).

38-page illustrated technical guide on how best to restore or create habitat for New England cottontails in areas where forest canopy closure, invasive shrubs, heathlands, and the presence of non-native eastern cottontails affect management decisions (8 MB download).

Popular article in 2013 New Hampshire Wildlife Journal by wildlife diversity biologist Heidi Holman.

Video offering front-seat view of a "brontosaurus" chewing down trees to renew habitat.

Article by Mike Freeman, published in the Fall 2015 Ruffed Grouse Society/American Woodcock Society Magazine (575 KB download).

Popular article in 2009 Massachusetts Wildlife by Peter Mirick on New England's rabbits and hares.

Sign by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, to be used on-site for habitat projects on state lands as part of the New York Young Forest Initiative (483 KB).

Communications strategy aimed at encouraging private landowners in an eastern West Virginia watershed to seek technical and financial assistance to undertake young forest habitat projects benefiting golden-winged warbler, cerulean warbler, and associated wildlife. Has application to other...

Scientific research article by Amanda Cheeseman, et al, in September 18 Ecology and Evolution (2.75 MB download)

Scientific research paper by Scott H. Stoleson of the U.S. Forest Service showing that deep-forest birds and their young frequently move to young forest habitat following the breeding season (482 KB download).

Brochure describing Connecticut's Private Landowner Technical Assistance Program to create shrubland habitat for New England cottontails(1.7 MB download).

Comprehensive plan (updated 2017) for conserving the New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis).

Comprehensive plan (2012) for conserving the New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis).

Watch a video of conservationists making habitat at a Connecticut nature center.

18-page illustrated manual on how to successfully trap, handle, and process cottontails in the field (2.67 MB download).

Sign produced by New York Department of Environmental Conservation explaining the need to conduct timber cutting on select wildlife management areas to create young forest habitat (1.26 MB download).

Banner to be used at public information meetings, fairs, and outdoor shows, introducing and explaining the New York Department of Environmental Conservation's Young Forest Initiative (6.26 MB download).

A timber harvest can be an excellent, cost-effective way to create young forest habitat for wildlife and promote a diverse and healthy forest. Five attractive, easy-to-understand publications offer guidance for landowners considering a timber harvest. Although focused on Vermont, the guides...

Display developed by New Hampshire Fish and Game Department on how harvesting trees can create young forest and help wildlife (811 KB download).

Scientific paper published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin describing a habitat suitability model that conservationists can use to monitor progress in creating and maintaining habitat for New England cottontails (1.28 MB download).

How U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service identifies key lands and helps landowners make habitat for New England cottontails.

Online article by Meagan Racey in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species Bulletin.

Research study in western Massachusetts shows that creating and maintaining young forest in pitch pine-scrub oak barrens increases the amount of habitat available to whip-poor-wills for courtship, roosting, and nesting (1.5 MB download).

23-page document covering the topics of dead wood, soil compaction, nutrient conservation, and wildlife habitat in temperate forests, including specific forest types of the Northeast (490 KB).

Scientific paper in PLOS-ONE journal explaining how landowners who went out on their properties with natural resource technicians expressed higher trust in the agency helping them create habitat, plus better perceptions of management outcomes.

USDA Forest Service research paper by Mariko Yamasaki, Christine A. Costello, and William B. Leak on effects of different forest management practices on breeding birds and tree regeneration (1.8 MB download).

Scientific paper by D.I. King, et al, reporting on research monitoring nesting success on 15 powerline corridors in western Massachusetts (450 KB).

Scientific paper by Bill Buffum, Christopher Modisette, and Scott McWilliams examining the effect of financial incentives on family forest owners' decisions regarding whether or not to manage their woodlands to create young forest.

Scientific research article by Eric Miller in 2011 Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science.

Scientific research article by Daniel R. Brubaker, et al, in 2013 Wildlife Society Bulletin.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service brochure describing wildland fire and its benefits to wildlife and humans when managers use it safely to renew wildlife habitat and reduce fuel loads in fire-prone areas (780 KB download).

20-page guide describing how to retain biomass in forests to preserve forest ecosystem health; useful when planning habitat management actions to create young forest for wildlife (1 MB).

Interpretive sign for display in areas being managed for young forest habitat (567 KB download).

Fruits and migrant health: Consequences of stopping over in exotic- vs. native dominated shrublands on immune and antioxidant status of Swainson's Thrushes and Gray Catbirds. Paper published in 2017 in The Condor.

Script for young forest public service announcement. Can be customized for use in any state in the Northeast.

2-minute radio spot on how important young forest is to wildlife and forest health. Can be used anywhere in the Northeast. Also serves as a template for customizing a similar message for any state (1.8 MB file).

Visit this website to learn about the golden-winged warbler, another declining species that needs young forest.

Comprehensive 158-page guide by Paul R. Salon and Chris F. Miller of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service on using conservation plantings to create and improve wildlife habitat (6.1 MB).

Mathematical tool for evaluating New England cottontail habitat quality.

Sign by Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to explain why young forest habitat is being created on managed sites (3.65 MB download).

Working Lands for Wildlife 2017-2021 Conservation Strategy for Golden-Winged Warbler Recovery, by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (13.3 MB).

Sign identifying habitat created for New England cottontails and other wildlife (7.2 MB download); land managers can contact state biologists to see if signs are available for their state.

Infographic on the New England cottontail: history, range, and habitat and population goals to help the species (160 KB download).

Journal article reporting research showing that the numbers and diversity of birds (including species of both young forest and older woodlands) are higher on woodcock singing grounds than at random forest sites in Rhode Island (300 KB download).

Article on shrublands by Scott Weidensaul; originally appeared in Aubudon online on March 1, 2016 (20 KB download).

Article by Marianne Piche in No. 1, 2015, issue of Massachusetts Wildlife magazine. (To subscribe to this quarterly magazine, visit or call 508-389-6300.)

Collected images of New England cottontails, their habitat, captive breeding, and more.

Scientific paper in 10 April 2019 Wildlife Research describing possible methods for surveying rabbit populations that may allow biologists to evaluate the effectiveness of habitat-creation efforts aimed at helping the native New England cottontail.

Sign developed by Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for habitat-management projects on public land (2.5 MB download).

Summary report by Cornell University's Human Dimensions Research Unit exploring why private forest landowners in the New England cottontail range in New York manage their lands for wildlife habitat, and what steps and incentives might encourage landowners to create habitat (450 KB download).

Webpage of the Massachusetts Audubon Society with detailed information on identifying and managing non-native invasive plants.

12-page reference guide for foresters, habitat managers, conservationists, and landowners who want to control the nonnative invasive shrub Japanese barberry (1.1 MB).

When talking about young forests, communicators can use these key messages to get across important concepts (193 KB file).

Report by Cornell University's Human Dimensions Research Unit detailing a study on landowner attitudes, and barriers towards creating New England cottontail habitat (4.5 MB download).

148-pg. manual offering detailed advice on how to manage and renew young-forest habitats in the Northeast; published 2006 (9.7 MB download).

Scientific research paper on genetic sampling of New England cottontails released into shrubland habitat on Bellamy River WMA in New Hampshire.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fact sheet describing the species' current status.

2014 annual report on progress in conserving the New England cottontail

2015 annual report on progress in conserving the New England cottontail

2016 annual report on progress in conserving the New England cottontail

2017 annual report on progress in conserving the New England cottontail

2018 annual report on progress in conserving the New England cottontail

2019 annual report on progress in conserving the New England cottontail

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fact sheet on the New England cottontail (1 MB download).

GIS spatial data (.shp files) of New England Cottontail Focus Areas (1.6 MB compressed zip folder)

Web page by University of New Hampshire Extension explaining threats to New England cottontails and how landowners can help the Granite State's native cottontail.

University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension brochure on this rare regional rabbit that needs young forest and shrubland habitat to survive (1 MB file).

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service video on the species' plight and conservationists' efforts to make young-forest and shrubland habitat that cottontails need.

Conservation strategy produced by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service aimed at helping the New England cottontail (1.2 MB download).

Popular article by John A. Litvaitis, professor of wildlife at University of New Hampshire.

Six-minute video describing how conservationists and landowners are making young forest for wildlife in New Hampshire.

Scientific article by M. Barbour and J.A. Litvaitis examining physical condition, niche dimensions, and survival of New England cottontails in different-sized habitat patches during winter (695 KB).

A guide developed by New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau Invasive Plants Working Group. Includes information on invasive plants' impacts on wildlife, such as the New England cottontail (18.5 MB).

Research article by L.E. Fenderson, et al, published 2011 in Conservation Genetics

Funding strategy for American woodcock conservation developed by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Migratory Shore and Upland Game Bird Support Task Force (2.3 MB download).

How the federal government and six states are working to save the New England cottontail.

Fact sheet on RHDV2 viral disease of rabbits.

Fact sheet on RHDV2 by Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Information sheet providing detailed information on Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2

Rangewide brochure describes efforts to conserve the New England cottontail, a species that needs young forest habitat (662 KB file).

Popular article on New England cottontail conservation from summer 2013 Northern Woodlands Magazine (7.47 MB file).

Cottontail caught on camera at Two Lights State Park in Maine.

Brochure from University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension on how to recognize shrubland habitats and why such places are important to wildlife (440 KB file).

52-page manual describing forest management techniques, including tree harvesting, in the Northern Hardwood forest type, which extends from northern New England west to the Great Lakes states (3.1 MB download).

40-pg. guidebook helping conservationists explain the importance of young forest to the public and other key audiences (3 MB file).

Advice from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service public affairs specialist presented in PowerPoint format (5.38 MB file).

Clearcutting, maligned and misunderstood, can jump-start new forest while helping wildlife, notes this brochure from Connecticut (461 KB file).

When we make habitat for New England cottontails, we also help woodcock. Learn more about this fascinating bird on this user-friendly website.

Easy-to-navigate website explains all about young forest, a habitat crucial for New England cottontails and many other wild creatures.

PowerPoint explaining why young-forest habitat is important and how to make and maintain it. Use when speaking to concerned citizens, clubs and organizations, and conservation audiences such as foresters and agency employees. (44.74 MB. To save file rather than simply opening it, right click on...

Suggested script for Young Forest PowerPoint Presentation (above). Common language and key messages to reach a broad range of audiences (5 MB file).

8 1/2 x 11 trifold brochure (5.33 MB file). To print double-sided on home/office printer, choose Actual Size under Page Sizing and Handling options. Select Print on both sides of paper and choose Flip on short edge option. If...

A full-color 60-page (6.5 MB) publication presenting the scope of the Young Forest Project and conservationists' achievements in creating this important wildlife habitat.

Scientific research article by John Litvaitis, et al, from 28 August 2013 Environmental Management journal (335 KB file).

90-pg. illustrated book profiling 65 species of wildlife that need shrubland and young forest, including 42 birds, 13 mammals, and 10 reptiles (9.1 MB file).

Technical article in Forest Ecology and Management on powerline corridors and their importance as young forest habitat for a rich array of native plants and wildlife (1.46 MB).

24-page brochure listing some of the wildlife that may be seen in a forest as it grows back following a management action, such as a timber harvest (11.4 MB download).

For some kinds of wildlife, like the New England cottontail and American woodcock, shrublands provide the best possible habitat, as explained by this brochure from Maine (496 KB file).

Table-top or poster display (38” high by 60” wide) developed by Wildlife Management Institute for conferences, workshops, annual meetings, sports shows, public info sessions, and other young forest related activities. The display is designed to the printing specifications of...

Brochure explaining how young forest provides food and cover required by American woodcock, New England cottontails, and many other wild creatures (755 KB file).

Display developed by New Hampshire Fish and Game Department on how wildlife needs young forest habitat (573 KB download).

Display on need to create young forest habitat to reverse declining population of the American woodcock (2.25 MB download).

Sign produced by Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Maine promoting the importance of shrubland and young forest for New England cottontails and other wildlife (2.3 MB download).

Sign developed by New Hampshire Cooperative Extension explaining importance of young forest to wildlife, for use on habitat management projects (2 MB download).

Bookmark explaining young forest habitat concepts to a general audience.

28-page guidebook on how to create young forest, for private landowners and those who manage public lands (state wildlife areas, parks, or forests), town or county forests, nature preserves, land trust properties, and hunting clubs (12 MB download).

Display produced by West Virginia Department of Natural Resources showing wildlife use of forests of difference ages during regrowth following a timber harvest (3.4 MB download).

Eight-panel brochure describing the Young Forest Project, published by the Wildlife Management Institute (3.4 MB download).

Presentation folder to hold printed materials; can be given to landowners, foresters, town and county conservation officials, land trusts, fish and game clubs, others (3.4 MB download).

2-minute Public Service Announcement (audio) on young forest from New Hampshire Fish & Game (1.8 MB file).