Who's paying to restore the New England cottontail?

Funding comes from many sources, including state agencies, private landowners, municipalities, zoos, land trusts, Native American tribes, nonprofit organizations, the U.S. Department of Defense, and others. The list of contributors is long, but a few sources have given substantial sums that have been crucial to New England cottontail conservation.

Wildlife Restoration funds, disbursed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, come from excise taxes on sporting equipment, including firearms and ammunition; state wildlife agencies apply for Wildlife Restoration grants to conduct projects that restore and manage populations of wild birds and mammals such as the New England cottontail. State Wildlife Grants further support conservation actions benefiting wildlife that states have identified as "species of greatest conservation need," a category in which the six states with New England cottontails have placed this native rabbit.

State wildlife agencies use a combination of Wildlife Restoration and State Wildlife Grant monies to create and manage cottontail habitat; conduct genetics analyses; carry out population and range sampling; develop databases; provide technical assistance to private landowners who want to make habitat; undertake communications and outreach efforts; administer the New England Cottontail Conservation Strategy; and document the results of conservation actions.

Other important funding comes from the states where New England cottontails are found; the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Wildlife; and the U.S. Geological Survey.