Show: Friends of the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge

Episode: FARNWR Cottontail.mpeg


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Episode Description:

David Paulson: Natural History of New England Cottontails

The native New England Cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) is being considered for protection under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Once a staple for Native Americans and early settlers, populations of this species have decreased drastically in the last 25 to 50 years, largely due to the decline of its habitats which are successional forests or thickets. They are also out-competed by the non-native Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) introduced in the early 1900s by hunters. Learn about the measures underway to help conserve the species by State and Federal authorities as well as private landowners.

The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is encouraging animal control workers, hunters, and other citizens to assist with a statewide survey of the rare New England Cottontail by turning in rabbit carcasses and skulls. Because the New England Cottontail cannot be easily distinguished in the field from its non-native counterpart, the eastern cottontail, officials plan to identify each collected specimen using skull characteristics or DNA analysis. Results of this study will help determine the population distribution of both species across Massachusetts. The survey effort is part of a larger New England Cottontail Initiative to address the decline of this species across its native range throughout New England and New York.

The speaker David Paulson is an Endangered Review Biologist, at the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program of the Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

For more information on the New England Cottontail, see New England Cottontail: Rabbit at Risk and When Rabbits Have Trouble Multiplying.

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File Name of SD Episode: FARNWR Cottontail.mpeg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:47:41

File Size of SD Episode Video: 2,656,629,338 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Monday, June 6, 2011 - 15:46


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