John Kanter: (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
June 13, 2003
2003 Annual Appeal Ends June
Endangered Wildlife Program Enters 15th Year
CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire's 24 endangered and 12 threatened species have some important friends at the N.H. Fish and Game Department. For the past 15 years, the department's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program has worked to protect and restore these vulnerable creatures and their habitats, as well as looking out for many familiar nongame animals, from spotted salamanders to songbirds. Those who would like to contribute to keep this work going have until June 30 to send donations for the 2003 Annual Appeal.
"We're seeing a growing statewide effort to protect our nongame and endangered wildlife," said John Kanter, coordinator of the program. "Today our work has even greater urgency because New Hampshire is the fastest growing state in New England, losing about 15,000 acres of habitat annually."
The Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program is funded by a fusion of Federal monies, state funds and conservation license plate revenue, matched by donations from individual contributors. "Our funding mechanism challenges us to raise private donations to match state funds," said Kanter. "In the process, people get a chance to get personally involved in bringing a balance to conservation in New Hampshire."
The Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program works to protect species in the state that are not hunted, fished or trapped, in addition to preserving their habitats. Partnerships with Federal, state and private conservation groups, as well as individual supporters, are central to the program's continued success. The Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program operates under the auspices of the N.H. Fish and Game Department, which is the guardian of all the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources.
Among the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program's many success stories:
- Breeding populations of common terns on the Isles of Shoals have been protected. In 1997 only six pairs of common terns bred on the Isles. Last year, 1,700 pairs fledged close to 2,500 chicks.
- Piping plovers have been safeguarded at Hampton Beach State Park, encouraging the fledging of 61 chicks since 1997.
- The Reptile and Amphibian Reporting Program, or RAARP, has provided valuable data on more than 40 species in New Hampshire, from rattlesnakes to spotted salamanders.
- Blanding's turtle, as well as wood and spotted turtles, are now protected species, thanks in part to research and other efforts by the Nongame Program.
- Critical habitat is being protected to provide the reclusive pine marten, a threatened mammal, with the large forested areas it needs to survive.
- An innovative project is relocating brown bats, natural predators of insects, out of the town hall in Cornish into a specially designed bat shed.
- More than 50 acres of pitch pine forest were restored and thousands of lupine planted in an effort to preserve the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly in Concord's pine barrens.
The 2003 Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program annual fund campaign is coming to a close. Those who would like to contribute should send donations by June 30, 2003, to: Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program, N.H. Fish and Game, 2 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. To find out more about the nongame and endangered wildlife program, click here or call (603) 271-2461.