Recent News

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.

New York to Create Young Forest on 10 Percent of WMA Woodlands

New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced plans to manage at least 10 percent of forested stands on 90 of the agency’s 125 Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) as young forest.

Over the next ten years, DEC will use timber harvests and other management techniques to create young forest on approximately 12,000 of the 120,000 wooded acres on WMAs statewide. Those acres do not include areas of shrubland, which will be managed separately. DEC plans to maintain 10 percent of all WMA woodlands as young forest in perpetuity.

Protecting Wildlife in the Thick of It

By Meghan Bartels for Science Line

The New England cottontail has a lot going for it: a whiskery face, a fluffy tail, the PR value of American literary icon Peter Rabbit. The U.S. government recently decided not to add the official moniker endangered species to that description. Still, federal conservation officials are worried enough about the iconic rabbits and their neighbors that the government has unveiled a proposal to spend around $100 million to create thicket refuges in a crowded region.

Tracking the Elusive New England Cottontail

By Dana Mark, Taconic Outdoor Education Center, in New York State Park Nature Times

It is a typical morning at the Taconic Outdoor Education Center (TOEC) in Fahnestock State Park, Putnam and Dutchess counties, New York. The sunshine beams through the forest, a chorus of songbirds are greeting the day, and 60 elementary school students are making their way to breakfast to fuel up for an active day of learning in the outdoors.

Wildlife Thrives in Young Forest

By Dave Anderson, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, for the Manchester, NH, Union Leader

More than once, a dyed-in-the-plaid-wool-hunting-jacket old-timer has reminisced to me about legendary game bird and deer hunting opportunities of their youth in 1940s and '50s New Hampshire. And then, just as often, wistfully lamented: “Those woods have all grown up now and there's no hunting like THAT anymore.”

Panel Calls for $1.3B to Benefit Vulnerable Species, Habitats

By Dave Solomon, New Hampshire Union Leader

The state’s budget for helping to save vanishing species and their habitats would increase from about $1 million a year to $13 million if a proposal by a national blue-ribbon panel is adopted by Congress and signed into law by the President.

Wildlife Refuge Plans Revealed

by Tonia Shoumatoff, Millbrook Independent, Millbrook, NY, February 28, 2016

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service disclosed this week plans to protect 2,000 acres in a strategic conservation area that includes parts of Amenia, Dover and Sharon, Connecticut. The targeted areas will be part of The Great Thicket Wildlife Refuge that eventually may cover 36,727 acres of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine.

Imagining a Landscape for Cottontails

By Sarah O’Malley, The World Around Us Radio Blogspot (program originates on Community Radio WERU at 89.9 in Blue Hill, Maine, and 99.9 in Bangor, Maine)

Join me in a thought exercise for a moment. Think of the most beautiful landscape you can imagine, one worthy of protection in perpetuity, one that meets all of our emotional, physical and spiritual needs.

Great Thicket Wildlife Refuge Proposed for Northeast

Over the last 100 years, as shrublands and young forests across the Northeast have been cleared for development or have grown into mature forests, populations of more than 65 songbirds, mammals, reptiles, pollinators and other wildlife that depend on this type of habitat have fallen alarmingly.