Michael Marchand: (603) 271-2461
Joshua Megyesy: (603) 271-1125
December 7, 2021
Concord, NH – Over the years, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program has focused on turtles: wood, spotted, and Blanding’s. Newer to the program’s scope of work this year is the eastern box turtle. Turtle conservation plans include several proven strategies such as the restoration of key nesting areas, habitat protection, roadway mitigation projects, stream restoration, and improving population assessments in areas where these turtles have been reported. Habitat evaluations began this fall and will continue over the winter while turtles are hibernating.
The Nongame Program relies on private donations to fund its vital work, including conservation of turtle species. These donations will provide the necessary matching funds for a federal grant acquired by the Department. Please give at www.nhfishandgame.com/Donations.aspx. Donations will help ensure that our biologists have the resources they need beginning in the spring of 2022 to coordinate known population survey efforts and assess the habitat and health of these populations on both public and private lands.
The status of the state-endangered box turtle is not well known, but thanks to observant volunteers and researchers, the Nongame and Endangered Program has determined that there are very small populations in New Hampshire that deserve special attention. Biologists must now answer important questions to further their effort: What is the quality of the habitat? Is the habitat vulnerable to development? Biologists will survey sites where turtles have been reported and track individual turtles to evaluate the status of local populations and identify important habitats including nesting areas.
“Box turtles are long lived and rarely breed until they are at least 12 years old, with some living up to three-quarters of a century,” said Michael Marchand, Supervisor of the state’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program. “Because they mature late, any increased mortality of adult box turtles could negatively affect populations. Much of southern New Hampshire has high road densities, and the remaining undeveloped land is often fragmented. Locations where box turtles have been sighted are typically near busy roads.”
Many of the locations occupied by New Hampshire’s four at-risk turtle species are on private property. Landowners are important stewards of habitats supporting turtle populations. Your contribution to the Nongame and Endangered Program, along with matching funds, will allow for the development of partnerships with landowners to assist them with habitat improvement and management in ways that benefit the turtles. Doing so will increase the likelihood of increasingly stable turtle populations and contribute to the protection of associated wildlife.
Show your support by donating online at www.nhfishandgame.com/Donations.aspx.
Please make your tax-deductible contribution by December 31, 2021. Thank you.
The NH Fish and Game Department’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program works to protect over 400 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians as well as thousands of insects and other invertebrates. The program relies in part on private contributions to accomplish its work and to raise matching funds required for state and federal grants. Learn more at www.wildnh.com/nongame.