Recent News

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.

NEC Headed for Nomans Land Island Off MA Coast

By Ethan Genter, Cape Cod Times

CHILMARK – Come spring, 10 New England cottontails will be headed to Nomans Land Island, the former naval bombing site off the coast of Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard, in the latest effort to restore the population of the rare regional rabbit.

Doggie Detectives Sniff for Science

By Meagan Hayes, for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

Nests of New England cottontails, and the baby rabbits themselves, don't give off much scent. But scientists have found that dogs, with their fantastic scenting abilities, can detect them.

They’re not chasing birds or deer. They’re chasing scent.

The aroma of animal scat, in fact.

Monitoring Project to Track Migrating Birds

Pennsylvania Game Commission

American woodcock will be monitored, young forest dwellers that share habitats with New England cottontails, ruffed grouse, blue-winged and golden-winged warblers, and more

HARRISBURG – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to support a proposal to further expand the Motus Wildlife Tracking System in Pennsylvania and four other states to monitor eight migratory species of greatest conservation need and other wildlife.

A Thwack in the Park

American woodcock, golden-winged warbler, and New England cottontail are sometimes called "guild species" or "umbrella species," because the habitat they require -- shrubland, brushland, early successional habitat, sometimes summed up as young forest -- provides food and cover for so many other kinds of wildlife.

New NEC Confirmed on Western CT Preserve

By Anna Quinn, Danbury News Times

WASHINGTON — At least a few of the once nearly endangered New England cottontail rabbits have found a home at Steep Rock Association’s Macricostas Preserve, recent tests show. The preserve is in Litchfield County.

Helping Grouse (and Rabbits) in NY

By Terry Belke for WGRZ Outdoors

New England cottontails, Appalachian cottontails, and American woodcock are just three of many species of wildlife that benefit when young forest and shrubland habitats are created or improved for ruffed grouse.

RUSHFORD, NY — The ruffed grouse is a ground dwelling bird that is a favorite of hunters and birders alike.