Recent News

Updated Memorandum Will Lead to Better Refuge Management, More Cottontail Habitat

By Sam Houghton, Mashpee Enterprise

The Mashpee, Massachusetts, selectmen on Monday, Dec. 21, signed an updated memorandum of understanding with eight other entities to more effectively manage the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge and ensure that the broad partnership remains cohesive.

The refuge is on Upper Cape Cod. It contains 5,871 acres of protected lands within the Waquoit and Popponesset Bay watersheds, tributaries and protected forest from the southern tip of the Town of Mashpee to as far north as Mashpee Pond.

Expanding Rabbit-tat in Connecticut

By Robert Miller of the Danbury News Times

It’s rabbit-tat — brushy, cut-over land turning back to forest. It’s where New England cottontail rabbits — the state’s only native rabbit species — hop and breed and get pounced on for a predator’s meal.

It’s also land necessary to many of the state’s declining bird species. A host of songbirds nest only in that brushy land. Two game birds — the ruffed grouse and American woodcock — depend on it as well.

The Straight Poop: NEC Found on Nantucket Island

By Sean F. Driscoll, Cape Cod Times

NANTUCKET — Hot on the heels of the New England cottontail rabbit's resurgence on the mainland comes news that the bunny has a home on Nantucket, too.

Queens Zoo Working to Boost NEC Population

By Lisa L. Colangelo, New York Daily News

QUEENS, N.Y. – Rabbits are disappearing across the Northeast, and it's not a magic trick. New England cottontails, the breed made famous by children’s literary hero Peter Rabbit, are becoming so rare, they narrowly missed being labeled an endangered species this year.

Steps Taken to Protect Rare Rabbit in Rhode Island

By Cynthia Drummond of The Westerly Sun

PROVIDENCE — The New England cottontail, the region’s only native rabbit and the inspiration for the Thornton Burgess’s “The Adventures of Peter Cottontail,” has become so rare that there are just a few remnant populations in Rhode Island.

But a multiyear conservation plan involving the federal and several state governments, scientists, foresters, farmers and others is attempting to prevent the New England cottontail from disappearing altogether.

New England Cottontail Poised for Comeback in Maine

By Deborah McDermott, Seacoast Online

As agricultural land was abandoned in southern Maine in the early 20th century, forests grew where there were once fields and development started encroaching – leaving a shrinking habitat for the New England cottontail rabbit, a once ubiquitous species indigenous to the region.

Conservationists at Japan Conference Hear About NEC Use of Burrows

BIDDEFORD, Maine – Zach Olson, Ph.D., assistant professor of Animal Behavior in the Department of Psychology at the University of New England, was an invited speaker at the International Wildlife Management Congress, held in Sapporo, Japan, on July 27, 2015.

ESA Helps Write New Chapter for Peter Cottontail

By Wendi Weber, Northeast Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, published September 18, 2015, in The Huffington Post

Federal Government Takes New England Cottontail Off List of Species Considered for Protection

The Associated Press, Published 9/11/15 5:08 PM

DOVER, New Hampshire — Public and private conservation efforts have helped the New England cottontail rebound to the point where it can be taken off the list of species under consideration for protection, the federal government said Friday.

CT Efforts to Protect True New England Native

(blog post by Carolyn Miller, Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Pull a rabbit out of a hat. If only it were that simple!