Recent News

Saving the New England Cottontail

By Ellen Liberman, Rhode Island Monthly

In a small, low-slung building off the entrance of the Roger Williams Park Zoo, eleven presumably pregnant New England cottontails awaited a new generation — along with conservationists in six states. Each plastic-bottomed cage, stacked on tiered metal carts, bore an identification number for the female and the estimated due dates.

USDA Releases 3-Year Strategy to Help Cottontails

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 11, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released a new three-year conservation strategy to help restore declining young forest habitat in the Northeast, part of an ongoing effort to help the region’s only native rabbit and more than 60 other kinds of wildlife.

Bill Calls for $1.3 Billion in Wildlife Funding

From the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation's Voice of the American Sportsman

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On July 6, Congressman Don Young (R-AK) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced the bipartisan Recovering America's Wildlife Act (H.R. 5650) calling for $1.3 billion in existing revenue from the development of energy and mineral resources on federal lands and waters be dedicated to the Wildlife Conservation Restoration Program to conserve a full array of fish and wildlife.

Wetlands Reserve Program Protects Habitat, Helps Wildlife

By David Brooks, Concord, N.H., Monitor

Protecting an endangered turtle, an endangered rabbit and a lot of imperiled wetlands – not to mention drinking water – is the goal of a new $1.6 million federal award to protect areas in Southeastern New Hampshire, including the Merrimack River watershed, as part of a federal program.

Reintroduced New England Cottontail Makes a Comeback

By Michael Casey, the Associated Press

DOVER, N.H. – From their enclosures at zoos in New York and Rhode Island, the New England cottontail offers a cute distraction for visitors.

But for scientists working to restore the rabbit in the wild, these captive bunnies represent a whole lot more. They are part of a plan to eventually release up to 500 of the rabbits a year into the overgrown farms and brushy fields of New Hampshire, Rhode Island and possibly Maine.

NJ Sparta Mountain Plan Will Ensure Forest Health

By Dave Chandra and John Sacco, Op-Ed for the New Jersey Record

Much has been said and written about the science-based ecological forest management within the Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area.

Unfortunately, much of what people have heard or read is wrong, creating unwarranted concern among well-intentioned people who value our forests, like we do here at the Department of Environmental Protection.

New Tool Helps Evaluate NEC Habitat

By Melissa Martin, Natural Resources Conservation Service

New England Powerline Habitats in Danger

By Mike Patrick, Associated Press, Monday, May 30, 2016

WATERBURY, Conn. - They cut through the state’s forests and countryside like ski slopes, dotted from one end to the other with vast, 80-foot towers of steel that help provide electricity to thousands of utility customers.

But Eversource’s rights of way, as they’re called, have come to provide another critical resource, environmentalists say: Little ecosystems have formed in the grassy, shrubby areas beneath those towers, where rare species of birds, insects, mammals and plants thrive.

Tracking Wildlife Roadkill in Maine

By Peter McGuire, staff writer, Portland Press Herald

It might be just roadkill to most passers-by, but to the state’s wildlife biologists, those animal carcasses on the side of the highway are teeming with something useful: scientific data.

In the past five years, Maine Audubon has used a network of citizen scientists to track sightings of animals – alive and dead – on or along the state’s roads. The volunteers record everything from frogs and snakes to deer and moose.

New England Cottontails Multiply on Patience Island

By Alex Kuffner, Providence Journal

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — The rabbit twitches its nose, sniffing the air outside the cloth sack. Crouching low on the ground, with its ears tucked tight to its body, and probably a little unsettled by its long journey by boat and truck, it barely has time to take in its new surroundings before Brian Tefft gives it an unceremonious smack on the behind.

"Go forth and prosper!" says the wildlife biologist with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

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