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CONTACT:
John Kanter, Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program Coordinator: 603-271-2461
Jane Vachon, NHFG Public Affairs: 603-271-3211
June 21, 2013

Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program Observes 25th Anniversary

Governor's Commendation Signed on June 19, 2013

John Kanter and Governor Maggie Hassan

Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program Coordinator John Kanter accepts a commendation from Governor Maggie Hassan in observance of the program's 25th anniversary.

Click here to read an article by John Kanter in NH Wildlife Journal looking back at the 25 years of success.

CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire Fish and Game's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program is celebrating 25 years this month. Volunteers, partners and staff are being recognized by the Governor and Executive Council for their efforts to return populations of many species to New Hampshire – wildlife that were rarely seen just a few decades ago, including Karner blue butterflies, New England cottontails, peregrine falcons and American marten.

“In the mid-1980s, a crisis was emerging for New Hampshire's threatened and endangered birds, mammals and fish. Wildlife habitat was exposed to enormous pressure from development and recreational activities. Populations were dwindling. Species were disappearing,” explained John Kanter, program coordinator.

New Hampshire Audubon and the US Fish and Wildlife Service worked with State Senator Susan McLane and the New Hampshire State Legislature to establish the program, signed into law by Governor John Sununu in June of 1988.

N.H. Fish and Game's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program is the steward for the state's nongame wildlife -- species not hunted, fished or trapped. Through wildlife monitoring and management, plus outreach and education, the Nongame Program works to protect over 400 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, as well as thousands of insects and other invertebrates. The program works in cooperation with other New Hampshire agencies and organizations to develop effective conservation strategies to protect and enhance vital areas and wildlife.

Every year since 1988 the legislature has provided up to $50,000 as a matching grant, contingent on an equal amount raised privately from individuals and businesses. Private contributions for the program now are more than $100,000 annually. The program also receives critical federal support through the State Wildlife Grants program.

Successes over the past 25 years include restoring a healthy seabird colony of common, Arctic, and roseate terns to the Isles of Shoals, establishing a new population of Karner blue butterflies (the New Hampshire State Butterfly) in Concord after they had disappeared from the wild, and bringing back breeding populations of magnificent bald eagles and peregrine falcons.

To observe this important milestone, themed talks, field days and other events are taking place throughout the year. "Most of all, the anniversary is an important chance to raise awareness of what's been accomplished for endangered wildlife -- and the need to work together to address the many challenges ahead," said Kanter.

To learn more or to support the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program through volunteering or financial support, visit wildnh.com/nongame.

NONGAME PROGRAM PROJECT SAMPLER

The following projects are just a few of the many important initiatives being coordinated by the N.H. Fish and Game Department's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013. See more projects at http://www.wildnh.com/nongame.

Karner Blue Butterfly - male"Kids For Karners" started in 2000 as a way to engage area school children in the Karner blue butterfly and Concord Pine Barrens project. Every winter, biologists go into classrooms where they talk to kids from pre-K through high school about the project. The students then plant wild lupine seeds and take care of the plants until May when they come to the Concord Pine Barrens to plant their wild lupine plants. Learn more at wildnh.com/Wildlife/Nongame/projects/karner_project.html.

Project Osprey: Fish and Game's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program joined forces with Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) and New Hampshire Audubon to work toward a full recovery of the state-threatened bird of prey by the end of 2005. Learn more at wildnh.com/Wildlife/Nongame/project_osprey.htm.

NH Dragonfly Survey started in 2007 as a partnership of NH Audubon, NH Fish and Game, and UNH Cooperative Extension. Its goal is to gain a better understanding of the distribution of dragonfly species of conservation concern in New Hampshire. In the first four years of the project, over 200 people attended workshops intended to train volunteers in dragonfly biology and data collection methods. Learn more at wildnh.com/Wildlife/Nongame/dragonflies.html.

Reptile and Amphibian Reporting Program (RAARP) encourages volunteers to report sightings of reptiles and amphibians from spring peepers to snapping turtles. These reports are extremely valuable to biologists. Observations are used to determine the distribution of reptiles and amphibians within New Hampshire. Verified reports of rare species locations are mapped and stored in a database used for land protection and conservation purposes. Learn more at wildnh.com/Wildlife/Nongame/reptiles_amphibians.htm.

Taking Action for Wildlife is a collaboration between the NH Fish and Game Department and UNH Cooperative Extension to help communities, conservation groups and landowners conserve wildlife and habitats in New Hampshire. The website contains many resources that can help you get involved in efforts to protect, restore and learn about wildlife and habitats. Visit http://extension.unh.edu/fwt/tafw/index.htm.

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