CONCORD, NH — While you’re outdoors spending time in New Hampshire’s woods and wetlands this year, help the Reptile and Amphibian Reporting Program (RAARP) by reporting your wildlife sightings.
Your efforts help biologists fill in gaps in the data for several seldom-seen reptiles and amphibians, including the Fowler’s toad, eastern hognose snake, blue-spotted salamanders, and several species of salamanders, frogs, turtles and snakes. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department collects information on these sightings to help monitor the state’s reptile and amphibian populations. Information, reporting forms, and annual reports are available on the Fish and Game website at www.wildnh.com/nongame/reptiles-amphibians.html.
“The Reptile and Amphibian Reporting Program has been a very useful tool for gathering species information in New Hampshire,” says Fish and Game Wetlands Biologist Michael Marchand. “Every year we learn more about these fascinating creatures and where they occur. Since the beginning of the program, more than 500 volunteers have submitted over 10,000 wildlife records!”
Although reptiles and amphibians are often the focus of reporting this time of year when they are coming out of hibernation and moving into wetlands, biologists also encourage your reports of vernal pools. Vernal pools are often small, isolated wetlands that are full of water for only part of the year, making them easily overlooked. The publication, “Identification and Documentation of Vernal Pools in New Hampshire,” and the Vernal Pool Reporting Form are resources available at www.wildnh.com/nongame/vernal-pools.html to help you report your findings.
To report sightings of other wildlife species, such as certain birds and mammals, use the Wildlife Sightings reporting webpage at nhwildlifesightings.unh.edu. Mapping tools allow observers to easily pinpoint the location of their wildlife observation, and digital photographs can be uploaded as part of your submissions.
Want to learn more about New Hampshire’s wildlife? Visit www.wildnh.com/wildlife/profiles.html to find resources to help identify the frogs, salamanders, snakes and turtles that exist in the state, and the important habitats that many of them rely upon. This continually expanding resource includes photographs, descriptions and habitat information on the state’s 40 native reptiles and amphibians.
The N.H. Fish and Game Department’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program works to protect over 400 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects and other invertebrates in New Hampshire. Learn more about the Nongame Program at www.wildnh.com/nongame.