Honey bees and other pollinating insects are crucial to our fruit and vegetable production and contributing to a healthy ecosystem. Unfortunately, pollinators face a number of threats, from habitat loss and degradation to nonnative species and diseases, pesticide misuse, and climate change.
We love wildlife, but when wild animals are in the wrong place at the wrong time - bears at your birdfeeder, skunks under your porch, or deer in the garden - you need a strategy. When wildlife/human conflicts occur, it's important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each wildlife problem is unique and you need to have some understanding of the animal and the available control methods before beginning any control strategy.
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.
Volunteering in nature is a great way to learn about natural resources and the environment while giving back to the places you care about. Nature Groupie - a project of UNH Cooperative Extension - makes it easy to volunteer outdoors. Over 200 organizations in New England post their outdoor volunteer opportunities the Nature Groupie Calendar, and you can register to volunteer online.
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.
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.
Invasive plants pose a serious threat to our native habitats and wildlife. One of the best things you can do to help stop the spread of invasive plants is to learn how to tell them apart from other plants.
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.
Vegetated buffers next to rivers and wetlands provide important habitat for wildlife, along with many other benefits, such as protecting water quality, absorbing flood waters, filtering stormwater runoff, providing shade, and reducing erosion. Protecting buffers is important for both terrestrial and aquatic wildlife, especially coldwater-associated fish like brook trout, amphibians such as wood frogs, and many reptiles. Some birds and mammals also use buffer habitat for foraging, denning/nesting, hiding, and traveling.
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.