New England Cottontail Conservation in Maine: Past, Present, and Future
Join wildlife biologist Jeff Tash to hear the latest on New England cottontail rabbit conservation efforts.
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New England cottontails (NEC) have been declining since the 1960s and are classified as state endangered in Maine. Once broadly distributed, NEC are now found in just 6 towns in coastal York and Cumberland Counties. Cottontails are habitat specialists that requires dense early-successional shrublands and young forest (collectively known as "thickets") for survival. Unfortunately, these types of habitats are in short supply in southern Maine, leading to the decline of many species, none more so than NEC. Join us as we discuss efforts by state and regional partners to conserve NEC and the myriad of other species that depend on early-successional habitats.
Jeff Tash is a wildlife biologist and the New England Cottontail Habitat Restoration Coordinator for Maine. He works with state, federal and local governments, as well as private landowners, to manage and maintain habitat for NEC. Prior to coming to Maine, Jeff worked for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau and the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife. He also holds a Master's degree from the University of New Hampshire, where he studied the status and distribution of New England cottontails throughout their historic range.