U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

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A New England cottontail in brushy shrubland. (Photo credit: Tom Barnes, USFWS.)

How a small preserve north of New York City kickstarted a multi-state conservation effort.
Hear from Stuart F. Gruskin at The Nature Conservancy in New York.

While American woodcock are generally quite cryptic, the display flight that the males perform at dusk in spring brings the species into prominence. Now is the season when males are displaying. May they grace moist young forest near you.

At Brave Boat Harbor and Upper Wells, trees had grown too mature to provide habitat for cottontails. Their leafy crowns cut off sunlight, causing ground-covering food plants to die off. Leaving plenty of other middle-aged forest, trees were harvested on less than 5 percent of the forest as part of an effort to manage young forest across 25 acres. The area is now growing into a dense thicket and becoming great habitat for cottontails and other wildlife, such as gray catbird, a type of shrubland bird. Credit: USFWS

Benny Caiola is a real estate developer, but for the next several years, he’s going to be developing some of his land with a different goal in mind — restoration of the New England cottontail rabbit.