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Posts Tagged ‘Audubon Society’

Is the New England cottontail no longer in trouble? I guess, as David Abel suggests at the Boston Globe, it depends on who you talk to.

“The threatened New England cottontail — the region’s only native rabbit, made immortal in The Adventures of Peter Cottontail [by Thorton Burgess] — appears to be making a comeback.

“Federal wildlife officials [are] removing the cottontail from the list of candidates to be named an endangered species. It’s the first time any species in New England has been removed from the list as a result of conservation efforts. …

“Wildlife officials said the bark-colored rabbits, which have lost nearly 90 percent of their dwelling areas to development, are benefiting from an increasing effort to protect their habitat. …

“The rabbit, which has perky ears and a tail that looks like a puff of cotton, has been the victim of development that has wiped out most of the region’s young forests. … Unlike its abundant cousin, the Eastern cottontail, the New England species relies on the low-lying shrubs of young forests for food and protection from predators, such as raptors, owls, and foxes. …

“Some environmental advocates worry that the federal government may be acting prematurely in removing [New England cottontails] from the list of candidates for endangered status …

“It has never been easy to galvanize concern for the cottontails, given how much they look like the nonnative Eastern cottontails. Those rabbits, brought to the region by trappers in the 19th century, have flourished because they have better peripheral vision than the native bunnies …

“ ‘People think they’re everywhere,’ Scott Ruhren, director of conservation for the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, said of the local cottontails. ‘But like every species, they are important and deserve a place on the New England landscape.’ ” More here.

Update January 10, 2019: More good news at EcoRI, here. If zoos can do more this sort of wildlife restoration, they will go a long way toward justifying their existence to opponents.

Photo: Mark Lorenz for The Boston Globe
A New England cottontail bred in a refuge in Newington, N.H., was penned Thursday in advance of its release.

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In my part of New England, Daylight Savings is drawing to a close with cold, wet, dark presentiments of the season to come. Seems like a good time to think about the fun we had in October.

Artist Don Eyles floated a pyramid in Fort Point Channel until a storm blew up. Suzanne, my husband, and our middle grandchild visited the sheep and other animals at the Audubon Society’s Drumlin Farm.

At work, we had a pumpkin-decorating contest. My team did Miss Piggy, porcine Muppet diva, to use the Wall Street Journal identifier. (Left to right, Elvis, the Monopoly Man, Miss Piggy, Edgar Allan Poe, Chia Pet, and Gonzo.) A Halloween band marched surrounded by babies, kids, and adults in costume all around blocked-off Providence thoroughfares near the Brown Street Park.

More quietly, chrysanthemums soaked up sunshine.

Here is a bit of background on the pyramid, in case you are interested.

“In 1998 Fort Point artist Don Eyles floated his first pyramid in Fort Point Channel, marking the water as a venue for art and opening the doors to years of temporary art installations to come. The installation was a bold move, made independently, and completely self-funded.”

“ ‘Consider the history that has passed along the cobbled streets of Boston — all the men and women, famous or unremembered, who have walked and rode here … always with granite cobblestones beneath their feet and wheels. I have long dreamed of making this history tangible, by constructing a great pyramid from the cobblestones uprooted by the City’s recent development.’ ”

More on the Pyramid and other Fort Point projects at tumblr, here.

pyramid-Fort-Point-Channel
101914-Drumlin-Farm-sheep
Halloween-team-bldg-at-work
Halloween-in-Providence
flower-pots-in-fall

 

 

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