Where else can you learn about New Hampshire’s 27 unique habitat types, research threats to wildlife, and find lists of actions you and your community can take to protect wildlife? The revised New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan has it all! The long-awaited release of the updated Plan includes new planning tools and updated wildlife habitat maps just waiting for you to get your hands on.
The NH Wildlife Action Plan has been updated for the first time since 2005 and it couldn’t have been done without the help of many NH citizens who participated in the process! 166 people representing 79 communities and an array of non-profit, municipal, state and federal agencies, and private landowners participated in public engagement sessions. 1,142 people responded to an online survey and 123 provided comments on the draft plan. NH Fish and Game staff, working together with their many conservation partners from across the state, have had a busy year spearheading the 10-year revision of the NH Wildlife Action plan. We thank all of you who helped out in this process.
The Wildlife Action Plan guides efforts to protect wildlife and manage habitats in New Hampshire. The Plan not only helps to keep rare species from becoming endangered, but also works to keep common species common. For this revision, experts from around the Northeast came together to assess Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN), compiling a list of 169 wildlife species that received full reports on their status, habitat use, threats to their existence, and actions you can take to help protect these species. Experts reviewed the latest research to determine removals (including recovered populations of Osprey and Cooper’s hawk) and additions to the SGCN list. Some interesting additions to the SGCN list include three whale species, four more freshwater mussels, four additional native bat species, four bumble bee species, and five marine invertebrates including the horseshoe crab and northern shrimp.
Multitudes of public input from interested citizens like you helped craft a Plan that provides more than 100 specific actions that can be taken by communities, conservation groups, landowners, state agencies, natural resources professionals and others to protect and manage wildlife and habitats in New Hampshire. Since 2005, over 235,000 acres of highest ranked habitat have been conserved in NH, and over 3,500 citizens, landowners, and land managers received technical assistance for habitat management. So, how will we top these numbers in the next 10 years? With your help! The Plan can be used to:
- Help towns and land trusts prioritize their land conservation efforts.
- Prioritize research to help fill gaps in our knowledge about NH’s wildlife and habitats.
- Help guide management on your land by using the maps to learn more about existing habitats.
- Incorporate actions to protect wildlife into town documents, education programs, property management plans, development guidelines, and so much more.
More than ever, the 2015 Wildlife Action Plan truly allows you to take action for wildlife. The Taking Action for Wildlife team looks forward to helping YOU use and understand the Wildlife Action Plan through the next 10 years! Join us for our first workshops featuring the 2015 Plan on November 7th, 2015 at the NH Association of Conservation Commissions Annual Meeting. Stay tuned for many more workshops to come this year about how you can use the 2015 Wildlife Action Plan to make a difference for wildlife in New Hampshire. Read the executive summary to get a taste of the wealth of information in the Plan.
The 2015 Wildlife Action Plan is publicly accessible through the NHFG website and additional information on using the plan and taking action will be available on Taking Action for Wildlife (www.TakingActionforWildlife.org) later in the year. The updated Wildlife Action Plan Habitat Maps by town are accessible through the NHFG website.