Recent News

“Ugly Effect” Brings Balance to CT Woodland

By Julia Werth, in the Connecticut Examiner

LYME – With hardly any tall trees, the ground covered in grasses and sedges and a few large piles of brush in sight, it seems almost like something has gone wrong. As though something happened here that shouldn’t have. Gone are the rows upon rows of tall oaks and maples, the shade they provided and the quiet commonly associated with New England forests.

Fracking Causes Some Songbirds to Thrive While Others Decline

From phys.org news

A new paper in The Condor: Ornithological Applications, published by Oxford University Press, finds that some songbird species benefit from the spread of fracking infrastructure while others decrease in population.

Native Plants Come Back When Invasives are Removed

By Marcus Schneck, Pennlive

When invasive shrubs are removed from the forest, native plants can rebound more strongly than expected, according to research conducted at Penn State University.

Rabbits Released on Small Island Near Martha’s Vineyard

By Ethan Genter, Cape Cod Times

For decades the federal government dropped bombs on Nomans Land. These days, it is dropping off something a little fluffier on the small island off the coast of Aquinnah: bunnies.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials ferried 13 New England cottontails through Vineyard Sound and released them on the 628-acre island wildlife refuge, which was once a naval bombing site.

Trail Cameras Capture Secret Lives of Animals

Amanda Cheeseman, a postdoctoral associate with the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry, studies New England and eastern cottontails in the Lower Hudson Valley. She developed a program called Canid Camera that enlists citizen scientists to help identify animals whose photos have been captured on trail cameras. The aim is to quantify wildlife diversity in different types of forests, particularly young forests where New England cottontails are found.

Controlled Burns Planned on Cape Cod

By Tanner Stening, Cape Cod Times

MASHPEE, MA — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Northeast Regional Fire program, in collaboration with other agencies, will conduct a series of controlled burns this spring on the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge and on property at the Falmouth Rod and Gun Club.

NEC Habitat May Help Bring Ruffed Grouse Back in Southern New England

By Edward Ricciuti

Connecticut DEEP and WMI biologist Lisa Wahle is quoted extensively in an article in the Spring 2019 Upland Almanac. The article, by writer Edward Ricciuti, is reprinted here by permission. (Click on the attachment below to read the piece.) Ricciuti clearly and convincingly makes the point that creating habitat for New England cottontails has the potential to help ruffed grouse in all six states where NEC live – and where local grouse populations have plummeted over the last 50 years as young forest habitat has dwindled.

Record-Breaking Year for Raising, Releasing Rare Rabbits

By Todd McLeish for ecoRI

More rare New England cottontails were raised at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence and the Queens Zoo in New York City and released into the wild than ever before, according to conservation officials. The success is a positive sign for populations of the region’s only native rabbit, which had declined precipitously in recent decades because of habitat loss, hunting, and competition with the introduced eastern cottontail.

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