Scientists develop tool to conserve New England cottontail - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Scientists develop tool to conserve New England cottontail

Posted: Updated:

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) - University of New Hampshire scientists have developed a method to estimate New England cottontail populations, whose numbers have been declining over the past 50 years.

The scientists say the region's only native rabbit is difficult to monitor due to its rare and secretive nature. With the recently developed method, they will be able to detect trends over time to conserve the rabbits by using DNA collected from fecal pellets. They said they are implementing the tool over 30 managed sites across the species range.

Since 1960, New England cottontail has lost more than 80 percent of its habitat to make way for housing developments and farmland. The species is endangered in New Hampshire, and in 2016, state authorities released captive bunnies into the wild to increase the state's populations.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly

10 Orms Street Providence, R.I. 02904
401-453-8000

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WLNE.
All Rights Reserved.

For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.