New England cottontails are a species of rabbit that is native to New England and nowhere else. Their population has been declining due to the loss and fragmentation of their habitat: dense shrublands, thickets, and young forest. These small brown bunnies need large areas of dense shrubby vegetation to survive. New England cottontails are state endangered in New Hampshire and are only found in a few towns across the whole state. Because the Strafford County Farm is near known populations, we have been working to create habitat here by cutting down low-quality timber that was shading out native shrubs, and by planting additional native shrubs. This project was funded by the NH State Conservation Committee Moose Plate Conservation Grant Program. When you get a “moose” license plate in NH, you’re helping to fund conservation projects like this one!
New England cottontail habitat also benefits many other wildlife species, from song birds to native pollinators, and even reptiles, deer, and timberdoodles.
Want to learn more about New England cottontails and their habitat? Check out these resources or give us a call!
- The New England cottontail regional initiative This page has lots of resources and information like reports, brochures, fact sheets and news about the effort to restore the species.
- NH Fish and Game Dept Learn more about the species and its status in New Hampshire
- A Landowner’s Guide to New England Cottontail Habitat Management Read about how you can create and manage habitat for New England cottontails
There may be financial and technical assistance available to you to create habitat on your property, depending on the location, size, and existing vegetation on your property. Contact us to find out more.