Stories

State-endangered Blanding’s turtles can be identified by their dome-shaped shell and bright yellow chin and neck. Photo by Loren Valliere.

Teaming Up for Turtles

Big things can happen for wildlife when dedicated volunteers team up with biologists around the state. This is what happened in the town of Newmarket with a critical call-to-action for motorists to be aware of rare turtles attempting to cross roads. In late May and June each year, female turtles of every species must make their way to open, sandy areas to lay their eggs.

Dark-eyes Junco. Photo by Pam Hunt.

Boom and Bust: Population Cycles in NH's Wintering Birds

Those of you with bird feeders may recall two broad themes from the winter of 2017-18: there were fewer chickadees and a lot more juncos.

Andover Engages with Local Residents

When Taking Action for Wildlife came to Andover in the fall of 2012, the six-member conservation commission knew what they wanted to do - find creative ways to engage local residents and raise awareness about the value of wildlife habitats in Andover. They rolled up their sleeves and got to work right away. The group spent the winter months planning a program of public outreach activities to run from spring through fall, 2013. They included a mix of outdoor field trips, indoor slide presentations and a photo exhibit.

Brothers and landowners Gordon Peckham and James Sowders.

Flipping a Forest: From Low-quality Timber to High Quality Habitat

In 2014, brothers Gordon Peckham and James Sowders III purchased a 70-acre woodlot in Lempster. They knew their main goal for their new property was wildlife habitat, but they weren’t sure how to get started or whether hands-on management was needed.

Southeast Land Trust Partners with Taking Action for Wildlife

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. SELT (previously known as Southeast Land Trust of NH), which currently serves most of Rockingham County and much of Strafford County, 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.

Beaver with log caught on trail camera - March 14, 2014

Lessons Learned from a Trail Camera

I sat at my desk, eyes glued to my computer screen, flipping slowly through photos. I’m giddy with excitement, enjoying the scenes unfolding, snapshot by snapshot, in front of me. A beaver makes its way out of the pond and passes next to the camera, then in the next shot, I see it is pulling a shockingly large log behind it.  I’ve seen the evidence of beaver’s work so many times, it barely catches my attention anymore, but there is something magical about seeing pictures of the animal at work.

Artwork from students who participated in the bird watching study at Woodman Park Elementary in Dover.

Education & Conservation: Partnering Local Schools and Conservation Commissions

In today’s high tech world, children are too often disconnected from nature and have little experience with their natural environment.  Schools do not have adequate support or experience to teach environmental subjects or connect students to local natural areas.

Campton's Frozen Bog Walk

Planning outreach in your community?  Take a page from Campton's book and consider hosting an outdoor field event exploring local habitats. In 2012, Conservation Commissioners in Campton, NH decided to focus some attention on a special natural feature in their town, Bog Pond, that was identified as important habitat on the Wildlife Action Plan Highest Ranked Habitats map.  They started by reviewing the Wildlife Action Plan maps for Campton to identify habitat types and highest ranked habitats.

Landowners and communities are often forced to close trails, roads, and bridges due to beaver activity that prevents use.

Beavers

In comic books and in Hollywood movies, arch-villains are often highly mechanized and possess awesome super powers. We watch battles unfold pitting good versus evil as they unleash their devious plans against each other for control of the earth.

Amherst's Joppa Hill Farm property, with a new perimeter trail, after one year of not mowing. Photo by John Harvey.

A Guide for Grasslands: Town of Amherst Commits to Managing Bird Habitat

Amherst has few grasslands, and they are mostly small and scattered. There are no 25-acre abandoned airport fields here, but grassland habitats in Amherst may support around 70 species of wildlife. In New Hampshire, grasslands are largely man-made and require periodic management to be maintained. The vision of the Amherst Conservation Commission (ACC) is to maintain grasslands in Amherst as a vital component of the larger mosaic of wildlife habitats in our landscape.