Have you seen a new invasive plant in New Hampshire? Are you planning a stewardship or invasive plant control project in New Hampshire? You can use a program called EDDMapS (Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System) on your computer, smartphone or tablet to map invasive plants and record your control efforts. EDDMapS also has information about invasive plant species, distribution, and identification tips.
A great way to learn how to recognize and control invasive plants is to become a volunteer yourself. For many of us, hands-on learning is a great way to educate ourselves.
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.
A professional licensed forester will help you to develop and execute a vision and plan for your property. Working with a licensed forester will help you determine what wildlife management activities can be incorporated into a management plan to create the forest you want in 20 or 50 years.
The shorelines of lakes, ponds, and rivers are valuable real estate in New Hampshire, but their importance as wildlife habitat is also significant. The quality of riparian habitat (land adjacent to and directly influenced by streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes) may be the single biggest influence on the abundance and variety of wildlife that live in or around a water body. Lakes, ponds and rivers with plentiful natural vegetation and undeveloped shores surrounded by large blocks of forest will support the greatest number of wildlife species.
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.
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.
Grassland habitats are an increasingly rare site in New Hampshire, but more than 70 species of wildlife use these open areas of fields and wildflowers to meet their needs for food, cover, or breeding. The most common grassland habitats in New Hampshire are agricultural fields such as hayfields, pastures and fallow fields.
While most people who feed deer in the winter are well-intentioned, there are a number of negative consequences to their actions. White-tailed deer, like many other widlife species, have natural adaptations that help them sruvive the winter. One of these adaptations involves the storage of fat in fall for use later during the winter. Supplemental feeding interferes with how deer use these fat reserves, process food, and expend energy in winter. Feeding deer also makes them more vulnerable to aggressive interactions, predation, disease, and vehicle collisions.
There are many opportunities for municipalities to include climate impacts and wildlife protection in plans, policies, and regulations. It's important for local residents, interested citizens, and municipal board members advocate for the incorporation of these topics into relevant documents, so that the municipal staff and boards responsible for these documents know there is local support.