CONCORD, N.H. — Just in time for Easter, an agreement has been reached between New Hampshire and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore habitat for the endangered New England cottontail.
The range of the species has declined by 86 percent during the last 50 years because of habitat loss. Under the agreement, the state Fish and Game Department will work with private landowners to restore thickets for cottontails in five counties. The goal is to enroll 3,000 to 5,000 acres to be managed as cottontail habitat.
The cottontail was named a candidate for Endangered Species Act protection in 2006. It is listed as endangered by the state of Maine and New Hampshire and is extinct in Vermont. There are small populations throughout the rest of New England and in New York.