Michael Marchand: (603) 271-2461
Jay Martin: (603) 271-3211
May 17, 2019
CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program has worked tirelessly to restore endangered wildlife in New Hampshire, but these victories would not be possible without the support of Granite State residents and visitors. Today, National Endangered Species Day, the Program reminds supporters to contribute to the 2019 Annual Appeal. The State of New Hampshire offers a $100,000 challenge grant to fund the work of the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program, but to qualify, the Program must raise an equal amount in private contributions by June 30, 2019. These funds are also critical in order to meet federal grant-matching requirements.
There are currently 51 species on the State threatened and endangered wildlife list. Of these, twelve are also protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, other federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, volunteers, and landowners to conserve and recover these species. Bald eagles have been delisted on both the state and federal endangered wildlife lists as a result of these strong partnership efforts. With continued public support through private donations, the Department’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program has led efforts which have successfully worked toward the restoration of populations such as the following:
The Karner blue butterfly is the state butterfly but had disappeared from the State by 2000. That same year, the City of Concord and state and federal agencies aligned to develop a Conservation Agreement to manage over 400 acres of land around the Concord Airport to begin recovery of the species. Since then, the habitat has been actively managed, and a captive breeding program was established to rear butterflies for release in the conservation area. As a result, the population was restored to 3,000 adult butterflies in the summer of 2016, which met the federal recovery goal for the population. Nongame staff continues to lead butterfly and habitat monitoring and management today. To learn more about New Hampshire’s Karner blue butterfly project, visit www.wildlnh.com/nongame/project-kbb.html.
Last year was a tremendous summer for the state-endangered and federally threatened piping plovers nesting on Hampton and Seabrook Beaches. The nine pairs of birds and seventeen fledged chicks counted were numbers not reached since the project began in 1997. NH Fish and Game biologists monitor piping plover breeding activity on the beaches, protect nests with exclosure fencing, and educate the public about the species. Conservation efforts by many partners, and the cooperation of beachgoers, have helped the piping plover population reach close to 2,000 pairs along the Atlantic Coast since the bird was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1986. To learn more about New Hampshire’s Piping Plover Project visit: www.wildnh.com/nongame/project-plover.html.
Canada lynx, which are federally threatened and state endangered, had disappeared from New Hampshire by the 1970s. Sightings were rare over the next 30 years until 2011 when four lynx kittens were observed in Pittsburg. Sightings of lynx and evidence of their presence continue to increase. NH Fish and Game continues to monitor lynx using a large network of remote trail cameras. Since the cameras were first deployed in 2014, lynx have been detected 96 times on 26 different cameras. Survey work has been coordinated with the Northeast Climate Science Center, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.
“Once a species is imperiled to the point that it is listed as endangered, recovery is often difficult and can take many years. We are thrilled that bald eagles are now recovered in both New Hampshire and across the country and that we are having success recovering other species,” said Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program Supervisor Mike Marchand. In addition to the effort invested in recovering federally endangered species, the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program and partners are investing in conserving a large number of wildlife species, such as Blanding’s and spotted turtles, before federal listing is warranted. The NH Wildlife Action Plan identifies actions necessary to conserve 169 Species in Greatest Need of Conservation, along with the diverse habitats in which they are found.
To help restore species such as the Karner blue butterfly, piping plovers, Canada lynx, and others, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is asking the public to support its 2019 appeal for its Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program.
Visit www.wildnh.com/nongame to learn more about the program and to donate.
Donations support field research and monitoring of nongame and endangered wildlife identified as priority species in the NH Wildlife Action Plan, technical assistance to other organizations and private landowners, and direct on-the-ground species and habitat restoration efforts. Hunting and fishing license revenues do not support nongame wildlife protection efforts.