If You See a Bunny in New Hampshire, Here’s Why You Should Snap a Photo
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
There's a statewide effort underway in New Hampshire that includes you and your phone taking photos of rabbits, because we have an endangered species on our hands.
With all of us snapping photos with our phones everywhere we go, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is asking all of us to help out with the University of New Hampshire's Cooperative Extension Rabbit Reporting Program.
UNH Wildlife Outreach Program Manager Haley Andreozzi helps run the rabbit reporting program, and told NHPR that the New England Cottontail is endangered in New Hampshire, with fewer than 100 left.
Fewer than 100? WOW, doesn't it feel like we're always spotting Peter Cottontail hopping around? But in reality, they're probably not the cuties with the puffy, white cotton ball-looking tails, and that's what we're on the lookout for. But all photos of all rabbits help.
Haley says we can help with this Rabbit Reporting Program by snapping photos and sending them to help all of us learn about conservation efforts and habitat requirements for those rabbits.
Haley told NPR that our photos will also help out with general rabbit data on various species, including the non-native Eastern Cottontail.
New Hampshire scientists have seen those rabbits expand their range and increase in numbers but they don’t have a full understanding of where those rabbits have expanded to, and how many of them live in the state. The sightings in New Hampshire rabbit reports are helping us learn a lot more about that species.
This program isn't new, having first commenced in 2017. However, springtime is reminder-time as rabbits appear more and more. Because of you and I taking photos and sending them in, Haley adds that they’ve received almost 1,300 sightings of rabbits around the Granite State. So, let's keep at it.
Every sighting helps. Granite Staters who spot a bunny in their backyard or on a spring adventure should be sure to record the date, time, and location of their sighting – and a photo, if they can snag one.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says it's hoping to do a strategic sampling for Eastern Cottontail rabbits to get a better picture of their population, and each sighting helps determine where those surveys might take place.