Stories

The American Woodock (Scolopax minor) lives in young forests and shrubby old fields across eastern North America. (USFWS photo)

Working for Woodcock: Creating Young Forest for Wildlife

We have owned a home and land in Wolfeboro since 1994. Soon after our purchase we discovered that we were privileged to own a woodcock singing ground. A singing ground is a place where male woodcock display in the Spring to attract and mate with female woodcock and raise their young. The display is called the "Sky Dance." Our family has derived immense pleasure from watching our harbingers of spring annually.

Brentwood: Moving Towards Management

The town of Brentwood Conservation Commission has been working towards managing some town-owned properties for wildlife habitat. That may sound like an easy task, but there is a lot to consider when making management decisions, especially on town-owned lands. The Commission must balance multiple uses and important natural resources in their decisions: protecting drinking water, keeping forests healthy, maintaining important wildlife habitat, providing a place for people to enjoy the outdoors.

Moose are primarily browsers feeding on leaves, twigs, and buds of hardwood and softwood trees and shrubs. (USFWS Photo)

Moose in a Changing Climate

When Europeans first came to New Hampshire, moose were found statewide with the highest densities in the north. They were used as a primary source of both food and clothing and this unrestricted use quickly reduced their numbers and by the mid-1800’s moose were virtually extirpated from the state.

Easton - Got Wildlife?

The Town of Easton, in northern Grafton County, has a way with coming up with catchy names. Their “Pastry and Preservation” conservation events have drawn local residents to enjoy good food and learn about the town’s natural resources. So no big surprise that they came up with “Got Wildlife?”, a creative activity to engage residents in recording wildlife sightings in town. They hung a map of town right outside the town clerk’s office (with permission, of course!) where there are often residents standing in line.

Grasslands is a term that applies to many open land habitats. Typically, we think of grassy areas with no shrubs or trees and no agriculture. However, even pastures and hayfields can provide adequate habitat for some grassland species. Their use by wildlife depends on the vegetation height, density, and composition.

Where There are Birds, Bees, and No Trees: Grasslands in New Hampshire

Most of us Granite Staters are enamored, maybe even infatuated, with the forests of New Hampshire. It’s hard not to be. They cover about 84% of the state after all, and include a variety of 86 native tree species that blanket the landscape in a patchwork of leaves and needles, bark and branches.

Biologists study New Hampshire’s rivers and streams for the presence of certain fish and mussel species to help better understand their distribution. Photo by Mike Marchand.

Spotlight on Wildlife Action Plan Habitats: Defining Watersheds

New Hampshire's Wildlife Action Plan identifies 27 unique habitat types across the state. Many of these are easily recognized and definable, like grasslands or rocky ridges. Others require a bit more thought and consideration of how they should be defined, mapped, and managed.

Landowners Working for Whip-poor-will

Nanci and Charlie Mitchell - Gilmanton, NH. Nanci and Charlie Mitchell live on a large tract of land in Gilmanton which they manage largely to protect and improve wildlife habitat on the property. Recently, they went the extra step of conserving the majority of it with help from the Forest Society. Nancy and Charlie took risks and bold steps along the way, and in the process, have helped wildlife in the area immensely. Among the most notable of their recent activities was purchasing an adjacent 360-acre parcel abutting their land on Swett Mountain.

As can be seen in this photo, horseshoe crabs have a hard shell and a long tail that is used to steer when swimming. Photo by Rachel Stevens.

Species Spotlight: Horseshoe Crab

The strangely unique horseshoe crab is one of five marine species that are considered Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in New Hampshire. Particularly if you are a birder or a fisherman, you may already know the important ecological role that the horseshoe crab serves.

Making Habitat Happen: A Bird's Eye View

The LeClair Tree Farm: For the past 30 years, Art and Gale LeClair have been putting their dreams into action as they manage their 120 acre woodlot in Farmington, New Hampshire. Much of the LeClair’s home is constructed with wood harvested from their land, and the poorer quality trees that Art removes in thinning operations provide fuel for the wood-fired furnace that heats their home.

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.