Mention the word “rattlesnake” and the reaction you’ll get is either awe and fascination or fear and loathing. Timber rattlesnakes are listed as an endangered species in six of the 27 states that they inhabit from New Hampshire to northern Florida. Here in Vermont at the northern extent of their range a small population exists and is barely holding on after years of persecution. Today wildlife biologists, the Nature Conservancy and concerned volunteers are taking steps to ensure that timber rattlesnakes survive and thrive in Vermont.
Gray Squirrels can be found just about anywhere in the Northeast. In parks, around back yard bird feeders and campgrounds these little critters can appear pretty bold but in the hard woods squirrels are extremely skittish. Hunting gray squirrels can be extremely challenging but it’s a fun and exciting way to introduce youth hunters to the woods and develop proper gun handling habits.
Since its inception back in the fall of 2002, Dead Creek Wildlife Day has become an annual event held on the first Saturday in October. Activities include everything from decoy carving and building bluebird boxes to an owl walk and viewing snow geese during their fall migration. The event is a showcase for the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area as well as a fun and exciting way to introduce the entire family to dozens of outdoor activities and wildlife exhibits.
A century ago Vermont had a very different landscape. Intensive logging and massive forest fires decimated our woodlands. But today, due to the creation of the National Forest Service as well as strict forest management practices, 78% of Vermont is now forested. One of the state’s natural gems is Groton State Forest. Within the park's 28,000 acres, lie six state parks and an abundance of recreational opportunities.
Topic: Emerging Contaminants: Sex, drugs & vices that affect our waters.
Emerging contaminants are a group of compounds that have recently been identified in wastewater, streams and ground water but are not regulated. These compounds include pharmaceuticals and other compounds that can affect the normal functions of humans and animals. Join us in conversation with Patrick Phillips, Hydrologist, US Geological Survey,
There are three ways to participate:
Attend the event in person at ECHO Lake Aquarium and
Log onto vpt.org/live at 7 p.m. to watch the presentation, chat with other Vermonters and ask questions of the presenter.
Go to the St. Albans Free Library, second floor meeting room, at 7 p.m. to watch a live video feed from ECHO and join the discussion.
Almost everyone is familiar with wild edibles, such as berries and fiddleheads, yet our region is home to dozens of species of wild edibles that are far more flavorful and nutritious than what you could buy in your local grocery store. These plants are nature’s organics and can be found right in your own backyard. So join us as we embark on a foraging adventures and learn to identify the delicacies founding Nature’s larder.
The first record of banding birds in North America dates back to 1803 when John James Audubon tied silver cords to the legs of phoebes. This allowed him to identify two of the nestlings when they returned the following year. It wasn’t until 1902 when the first scientific system of banding began in North America. In the early 1900’s concerns over the declining numbers of waterfowl, passenger pigeons and over harvesting of egrets for their plumes resulted in an international agreement to manage migratory birds. Over the past century banding data has been a critical tool used to manage waterfowl. Banding birds requires capturing them and when it comes to waterfowl the most effective method is the use of rocket netting.
In 1919 the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department made their first purchase of wildlife habitat. This one thousand acres of wetlands established the Sandbar Waterfowl Refuge and was the precursor of today’s Wildlife Management Areas. Since that initial purchase the department now owns over 118,000 acres throughout Vermont as part of the states Wildlife Management Area program. Managing these diverse habitats for the benefit of both wildlife and human use is a logistical and budgetary challenge. A unique and energetic group of friends may be the solution to keep these Wildlife Management Area’s a thriving resource for all Vermonter’s to enjoy.
For centuries various plant species have been imported from other countries as ornamentals for various landscaping projects. They may look great when manicured by a landscaper but when these plants are spread into the wild they can become extremely invasive, out-competing native plants, increase erosion along stream banks, and provide less nutritious food and insufficient cover for wildlife. To help combat the spread and promote awareness of invasive plants the Nature Conservancy has developed a program to get us all “Wise on Weeds”
Maidstone Lake was created when glacial ice carved out a deep basin along the northern stretches of the Connecticut River. The deep cold water left behind as a result of the glacier melt is now ideal habitat for salmon, rainbow and lake trout. Like many of the Northeast Kingdom lakes, Maidstone’s fish population was managed through creel surveys to help establish regulations and stocking efforts to provide anglers with a quality fishing experience. In recent years the focus on Maidstone Lake has changed . With access to genetic analysis fisheries biologists are discovering that Maidstone may hold a species of fish that is a direct descendent of the first lake trout left behind by the receding glaciers.