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Biologist Loren Valliere holds up a lively male Blanding’s turtle caught during surveys. (Photo by NHFG)The stock boy in aisle two looked at me funny the first time I ordered 500 tin cans of sardines. Now, three years later, he sees me coming and says, “Time to catch some turtles?” I nod yes, we exchange some jokes about the life of a wildlife biologist – and I fill my green Fish and Game truck to the roof with sardines. It’s all for the cause.

The cause, of course, is state-endangered Blanding’s turtles – and I’ve been assigned the task of helping to assess their status in New Hampshire. Blanding’s can live 80 years and are found in densely vegetated wetlands in pockets of the northeast. So,...

Invasive plant management is a common focus of restoration projects. (Photo: NH SurfRider)

Invasive plants are changing the face of America and can cause significant ecological and economic harm. They may impact wildlife by choking out natural habitats such as freshwater wetlands, causing loss of available food, or altering habitat structure or function. They are a leading threat to native biodiversity, second only to habitat destruction.

The importance of minimizing the spread of invasive plants means they are a common focus of restoration projects. However, our challenge is the majority...

Taking Action for Wildlife staff Amanda Stone and Emma Carcagno had the opportunity to assist a NH land trust to engage with local communities over the past several months using a new and exciting technology. Southeast Land Trust, which currently serves most of Rockingham County (though will soon also serve much of Strafford County after a soon-to-be-completed merger with Strafford Rivers Conservancy), completed a new strategic plan earlier this year.  As part of that process, the land trust recognized a need to update their conservation focus areas to help direct their future work.

This type of work is often done at a computer.  You can use existing resources, such as the Wildlife Action Plan maps, water resources maps, maps of existing conservation land, and soils maps (to name just a few) to determine where important resources might overlap, which may help narrow down areas that...

Do you like seeing birds and other wildlife on your property?  Do you feed the birds in the winter? Why not consider planting some native trees and shrubs to enhance the natural wildlife food sources on your property? There are many things you can do to help our birds and other wildlife meet their needs throughout the year, by improving their habitat on your property.  

The first thing to do is to look at what you already have for habitat features, thinking in terms of food, water, shelter and space. Nature provides food for wildlife throughout the seasons. As we develop and alter the landscape with roads, houses and lawns, this natural habitat is diminished. You can take an inventory of what your land is providing and enhance the components that are lacking. ...

Reflections from Southeast Land Trust Properties
Kelliher Property, Brentwood/Fremont

Leaving a busy day behind me, I step onto the trail and head into the woods.  With the snow crunching loudly underfoot, my entrance doesn’t go unnoticed as a pileated woodpecker immediately alerts my arrival to the rest of forest.  I give a quick “hello to you too” back to the bird, and continue on my way. Almost immediately I cross the small tracks of a gray fox.  I decide to follow it, hoping to learn a little more about this little canine that I rarely see in person. 

The gray fox trail follows the hiking trail for a short way before cutting into the woods, taking a straight route.  I follow along, my pace surely much slower than the fox’s, clumsy on my two feet to its four.   Following the story of the tracks, it seems the fox has slowed his pace and diverts from its straight-line route.  I emerge again on the hiking trail where I find the fox has...

The NH Wildlife Action Plan has been guiding work to protect and enhance wildlife and habitats across the state for 9 years now. With the Plan, and the many tools that have been created to help implement it — such as the wildlife habitat maps and the Taking Action for Wildlife Program — NHFG and its many partners have protected over 235,000 acres of wildlife habitat. Of the over 1.8 million acres of protected habitat in NH, 84% is habitat that is highest ranked in the Wildlife Action Plan maps.

There are many other ways that the Wildlife Action Plan has been implemented. Over 35 towns have worked to protect or enhance wildlife habitat through creating natural resource inventories, conservation plans, town forest management plans and/or engaging citizens on town conservation lands.  Ospreys and Coopers hawks were removed from the...

The LeClair Tree Farm

For the past 30 years, Art and Gale LeClair have been putting their dreams into action as they manage their 120 acre woodlot in Farmington, New Hampshire. Much of the LeClair’s home is constructed with wood harvested from their land, and the poorer quality trees that Art removes in thinning operations provide fuel for the wood-fired furnace that heats their home. Their property also serves as an outdoor classroom for schools and camp groups.

Following a management plan and working with natural resource professionals, the LeClair’s have identified goals for their property and have spent countless hours working toward those goals. In addition to improving the quality of the trees they are growing, a primary goal of the LeClair’s is to improve the wildlife habitat throughout their property by providing more food sources, better cover, and more open space in different parts of their woodland....

 

Those who care about wildlife in New Hampshire have a new way to lend a hand. The Stewardship Network: New England launched a new website at newengland.stewardshipnetwork.org that makes it easier for people to volunteer for nature-based projects, including those focused on wildlife and their habitats. Our goal is to connect more citizens to the outdoors through meaningful, well-organized land stewardship and environmental research volunteer projects.

The Network is mobilizing volunteers to care for and study lands and waters. Since the website’s launch last spring, the Network has connected hundreds of volunteers with more than 70 conservation partners on over 120 different volunteer workdays, research...

The Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program is excited to announce the release of its updated online reporting system, NH Wildlife Sightings. For those who have used the site previously, you’ll enjoy an updated look and feel, drop-down menus and check-offs that make it even easier to report your wildlife observations. For anyone who hasn’t used the site before—now is the time to start!

NH Wildlife Sightings is the place where your observations are connected directly with the biologists who study and track NH’s wildlife species. Perhaps one summer you come across a green snake in your yard— biologists can use that information to better understand the range of green snakes in the state. Or maybe over the next few years you keep track of the different turtle species you see at your favorite...

Read about the White family - homesteaders who live on and work their Sandwich, New Hampshire property as a way of life, but who are also benefiting wildlife and habitats. Written by Malin Clyde, UNH Cooperative Extension for Northern Woodlands Magazine, March 2007.

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