Recent News

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.

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.