Recent News

Reintroduced New England Cottontail Makes a Comeback

By Michael Casey, the Associated Press

DOVER, N.H. – From their enclosures at zoos in New York and Rhode Island, the New England cottontail offers a cute distraction for visitors.

But for scientists working to restore the rabbit in the wild, these captive bunnies represent a whole lot more. They are part of a plan to eventually release up to 500 of the rabbits a year into the overgrown farms and brushy fields of New Hampshire, Rhode Island and possibly Maine.

NJ Sparta Mountain Plan Will Ensure Forest Health

By Dave Chandra and John Sacco, Op-Ed for the New Jersey Record

Much has been said and written about the science-based ecological forest management within the Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area.

Unfortunately, much of what people have heard or read is wrong, creating unwarranted concern among well-intentioned people who value our forests, like we do here at the Department of Environmental Protection.

YF Plan in New Jersey Divides Environmentalists

By James M. O’Neill, The Record staff writer

A plan to help endangered birds by cutting down dozens of acres of state forest on Sparta Mountain represents a radically different approach to land management for New Jersey — and has bitterly divided New Jersey’s major environmental groups.

New England Powerline Habitats in Danger

By Mike Patrick, Associated Press, Monday, May 30, 2016

WATERBURY, Conn. - They cut through the state’s forests and countryside like ski slopes, dotted from one end to the other with vast, 80-foot towers of steel that help provide electricity to thousands of utility customers.

But Eversource’s rights of way, as they’re called, have come to provide another critical resource, environmentalists say: Little ecosystems have formed in the grassy, shrubby areas beneath those towers, where rare species of birds, insects, mammals and plants thrive.

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.

Young Forest Project Underway in Adirondacks

Foresters and wildlife biologists with Lyme Adirondack Forest Company (an affiliate of The Lyme Timber Company) and the Wildlife Management Institute have sited a young forest habitat demonstration project on part of Lyme’s 239,000-acre ownership in the Adirondacks of upstate New York.

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.