Habitat Projects Helping Cottontails in New York

New York

Statewide Young Forest Initiative to Help Cottontails, Other Wildlife

In New York, the New England cottontail occurs east of the Hudson River in areas of young forest and shrubland in parts of Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam, and Westchester counties. (Although once found in Rensselaer County, the species has not been detected there since the 1950s.)

Nellie Hill Tract, Lower Hudson Valley

First Tract in a New Wildlife Refuge

In early 2018, genetic analysis of rabbit fecal pellets – those familiar round droppings found on winter’s snow, collected in plastic vials by biologists and sent to a university lab for testing – confirmed the presence of New England cottontails on the Nellie Hill Tract of the new federal Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge.

Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area, New York

Carving Out Cottontail Habitat in a Forested Setting

Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area includes 469 mainly forested acres, with some grassy and weedy fields, on a mountain east of the Hudson River where New York’s Putnam and Dutchess counties meet. The state Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) owns and manages the property.

Open to the public, the WMA is maintained as wildlife habitat. It’s also in a Focus Area for conserving the New England cottontail.