Tag Archives: Wildlife

Land Donation Expands Dead Creek WMA in Addison County, VT 

Land Donation Expands Dead Creek WMA in Addison County, VT

Popular Vermont bid-watching and waterfowl destination to increase by 37 acres

 

 

One of Vermont’s premiere wildlife hotspots, the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison has expanded according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. A donation by Dubois Farm Inc of Addison will expand the property by 37 acres, bringing the property up to a total of 2,895 acres.

 

“We are grateful to the Dubois Farm for donating this land,” said Louis Porter, Vermont’s commissioner of the Fish & Wildlife Department. “Their generosity contributes to a growing legacy of conservation that will last for generations.”

 

The new parcel hosts rare and ecologically important clay-plain forest. These forests contain oak and hickory trees that attract turkeys, gray squirrels, and deer, making them popular destinations for hunters. Because the forest is next to wetlands, it is particularly important for amphibians such as frogs, toads, and salamanders.
Land Donation Expands Dead Creek WMA in Addison County, VT

“Birdwatchers and hunters have coveted access to this property for many years,” said Porter. “The diversity of bird species found in this forest is incredible for bird enthusiasts. Previous owners closed the land to the public to conduct private turkey hunts. Now, any hunter may now access the land to try their luck at calling in a turkey.”

For almost forty years the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has partnered with The Nature Conservancy in Vermont and local landowners to place a conservation easement on this property after recognizing the forest’s significance to wildlife. That project began a multi-decade partnership between the two organizations that has resulted in many conservation success stories.

 

Wildlife Management Areas (WMA’s) are conserved lands throughout the state of Vermont, owned by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. They are managed for fish and wildlife habitat and wildlife-based recreational access. Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area hosts 200 bird species, and is one of the most popular Vermont destinations for bird-watchers and waterfowl hunters.

 

Vermont has more than 80 state wildlife management areas covering well over 100,000 acres. Management activities on these areas vary by habitat type, but perhaps none are more intensively managed than wetland wildlife management ares. Although wetland areas like the Dead Creek WMA in Addison look often like they do not need any improving, behind the scenes state biologists and volunteers work year-round to make them as attractive and beneficial to wildlife as possible.

 

Landowners wishing to donate land to be permanently conserved are encouraged to contact the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Anyone can donate to the department’s land conservation efforts by purchasing a 2017 Vermont Habitat Stamp, available at vtfishandwildlife.com.

 

 

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Vermont: Fish & Wildlife Urges Vermonters to Remember Non-game Wildlife Fund Tax Checkoff

Vermont: Fish & Wildlife Urges Vermonters to Remember Non-game Wildlife Fund Tax Checkoff

Vermont: Fish & Wildlife Urges Vermonters to Remember Non-game Wildlife Fund Tax Checkoff

Osprey are now much more common in Vermont thanks to recovery efforts supported by the Non-game Wildlife Fund.

Vermonters interested in helping conserve wildlife should consider donating to the Non-game Wildlife Fund on line 29 of their Vermont income tax form this tax season. The fund helps conserve some of Vermont’s most threatened wildlife species such as bald eagles, lynx, and bats.

Vermont: Fish & Wildlife Urges Vermonters to Remember Non-game Wildlife Fund Tax Checkoff

Peregrine Falcon

Donations are leveraged by a match from a federal grant, meaning that a $50 donation brings up to $150 to Vermont wildlife conservation. This has helped recovery efforts for Vermont’s bat species that were recently hit with a devastating fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome. These donations also help conserve declining pollinators such as butterflies, beetles and bees, which are critically important to agriculture and ecology.

 

Biologist Steve Parren manages non-game wildlife projects for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. He works on the recovery of Vermont’s rare turtle species, including the state endangered spiny softshell turtle. Parren monitors and protects the turtle’s nests, and each winter he raises dozens of baby turtles in his own living room before releasing them back into Lake Champlain in the spring.

“The Nongame Wildlife Fund has been responsible for some of the great conservation success stories in Vermont,” said Parren. “Thanks to the generous donations of thousands of Vermonters, we are working to restore many of the iconic species of our Green Mountain State.”

Past donations to the Non-game Wildlife Fund have helped recover peregrine falcons, osprey, and loons in Vermont. “It’s clear that Vermonters care deeply about wildlife,” said John Buck, a wildlife biologist who works to recover the state’s endangered bird species. “These donations demonstrate that the people of our state share a strong commitment to conservation.”

 

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Majestic Bald Eagle Over Lake Champlain 

Majestic Bald Eagle Over Lake Champlain

Majestic Bald Eagle Over Lake Champlain

Majestic Bald Eagle Over Lake Champlain

 

This photo of a majestic Bald Eagle flying over Lake Champlain was taken in Grand Isle, Vermont this morning (1/2/2017) by Matt and Betsy Dall.

 

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2016 a Record Year for Vermont Bald Eagles

Vermont Bald Eagles Nest in Record Numbers in 2016

 

2016 a Record Year for Vermont Bald EaglesIn 2016 bald eagles produced 34 successful young in Vermont, smashing the most recent record of 26 in 2013 according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Dept. The birds remain on the list of species protected under Vermont’s state endangered species law, but this strong year has conservationists hopeful for their continued recovery.

 

 

This year also saw record nesting success for several other bird species monitored by biologists and volunteers in Vermont. Peregrine falcons successfully raised at least 81 young birds in 2016, breaking the previous state record of 67, according to Audubon Vermont who monitors nesting peregrine falcons in partnership with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

 

 

2016 a Record Year for Vermont Bald Eagles and for Nesting Loon Success

Vermont also welcomed 80 new birds to the state’s loon population, breaking the previous record of 69. The Vermont Center for Ecostudies monitors the state’s nesting loons.

The mild weather this spring likely helped boost numbers of all three birds, according to John Buck, migratory bird biologist with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

 

“The cooperative weather provided a bump to many species this year, but the continued recovery of these species is the result of a long-term effort by our department and our partners to conserve the habitat these birds need to thrive,” said Buck.

Peregrine falcons and bald eagles declined in the Twentieth Century nationwide due to loss of habitat, disturbance to nests, and the effects of the pesticide DDT. Laws such as the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and a ban on DDT have aided in the recovery of these birds. Loons similarly faced dramatic declines as a result of shoreline development and human disturbance of their habitat.

In 2005, peregrine falcons, loons, and osprey were removed from Vermont’s state endangered species list following years of conservation effort. Bald eagles have recovered in most of the contiental U.S. and have been removed from the federal endangered species list, but remain on Vermont’s state endangered species list as they continue to recover locally.

“Vermonters have played a huge role in the recovery of these species,” said Margaret Fowle, biologist with Audubon Vermont. “We work with a large number of citizen volunteers who help monitor nests, while the general public has aided in recovery efforts by maintaining a respectful distance from these birds during the critical nesting season. Paddlers have been keeping away from nesting loons, and the climbing community has been helpful by respecting cliff closures and getting the word out about where the birds are.”

2016 a Record Year for Vermont Bald Eagles supported by license plate sales

Vermonters can help researchers in their effort to conserve birds by donating online to the nongame wildlife fund at www.vtfishandwildlife.com or by purchasing a conservation license plate, including the new loon design plate.

 

 

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Injured Bald Eagle Released Back into the Wild

Injured Bald Eagle Released Back into the Wild

Staff with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences released a juvenile bald eagle back into the wild last week at Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison, Vermont.

The young eagle was injured when it fell from its nest early this summer. A local wildlife photographer notified the landowner and Fish & Wildlife staff that the eagle was injured. The bird was initially treated at the Outreach for Earth Stewardship rehabilitation facility in Shelburne, and then transferred to the Vermont Institute for Natural Science in Quechee to complete its rehabilitation. Biologists attached special identification bands to the eagle’s legs before releasing it to the wild.

“This release is a great moment for eagle restoration in Vermont,” said Fish & Wildlife bird biologist John Buck. “This day would not be possible without the dedicated efforts of the many people who care deeply about restoring the bald eagle to its rightful place among Vermont’s wildlife community.”

Bald eagles declined nationwide due to loss of habitat and the effects of the pesticide DDT. Laws protecting eagles, such as the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and a ban on DDT have aided in the recovery of the United States’ national symbol.

According to Buck, Vermont’s bald eagle population is in the midst of a strong recovery. He cites continued support from the public through funding wildlife programs like the Nongame Wildlife Fund and maintaining a safe distance from nesting eagles, in addition to the work of conservation partners, as critical to the species’ continued recovery in Vermont.

 

 

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