Climate change is throwing a number of curveballs at NH's wildlife. While rising temperatures often get the most attention, we're also seeing wackier, less predictable weather in general.
People who are aware of the problems associated with invasive plants can end up getting discouraged, once they realize that yes, they are all over the place. But don’t get discouraged! The good news is that they are not everywhere in New Hampshire, and there are options for towns, conservation groups, private landowners, and public agencies to actively work to control invasive plants.
Shrubland habitats are used by over 100 species of wildlife in NH and are critically important to many. Despite their importance to wildlife, these habitats have become increasingly rare in NH and as a result, many of the species that use and/or rely on this habitat have shown declining population numbers in recent years.
Many potentially useful observations of wildlife are made by landowners, recreationists, birders, hunters and fishermen, foresters, and general wildlife enthusiasts. Through NH Wildlife Sightings, professionals and other citizens can report their wildlife observations.
Many familiar plants in our gardens, fields, and along roadsides are not native to New Hampshire. While the majority cause no harm to natural habitat or managed farms and forests, some do and are considered invasive plants. Invasive plants can reduce biodiversity, imperil rare species, reduce wildlife habitat by eliminating native foods or changing cover or nest sites, degrade water quality, reduce forest and farm crop production, and cause human health problems.
Volunteers throughout New Hampshire help to monitor and protect the water quality of our rivers, streams, and lakes. You can get involved to help collect samples and promote the importance of maintaining water quality. Visit specific program sites below for more information.
Land conservation needs funding! There are costs involved in purchasing the land or purchasing a conservation easement. Even if the easement or the land is donated, there are still costs associated with a land conservation project, e.g. appraisal and survey costs, legal fees, land trust costs, etc. Partnering with a land trust that has an interest in the land being conserved is recommended, especially since they can help locate and apply for funding sources when they work in partnership with a community.
Invasive plants often take over places where soils or existing plants have been disturbed – sites like field edges, abondoned farms, roadsides, or at trailheads. One of the best things you can do to minimize the spread of invasive plants is to leave soils and areas of native plants alone, especially in places where invasive plants are nearby.
Hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, horseback riding, snowmobiling -- these are just some of the ways we get outside to enjoy nature and unwind from our day-to-day activities. However, even these seeming harmless activities can have impacts on wildlife including reduced abundance, reproduction, and survival. Thoughtful trail location allows us to get outside to enjoy nature and also minimize disturbance to wildlife.
Invasive insects and diseases can have devastating impacts on the managed and natural environments into which they are introduced. These introduced pests can have serious negative impacts on agricultre and forestry. Some invasive pests of concern in New Hampshire right now include emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, and asian longhorned beetle (not yet in NH, but nearby).