I was privileged to join Secretary Jewell, New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and people and organizations from across New England as we came together today to celebrate a remarkable conservation success. Once headed toward extinction, the New England cottontail is now coming back – thanks to the efforts of this broad coalition.
The effort to conserve the cottontail relies on landowners like Rick and Donna Ambrose who hosted us today in New Hampshire. The Ambroses have cleared about 10 acres, removed invasive plants and planted shrubs to support the cottontail effort on their land. Rick has also helped other landowners with habitat restoration through his excavation business.
Today, Rick and Donna and their neighbors became the first ever landowners to have captive-raised rabbits released on their property.
The cottontail’s remarkable rebound is also a testament to the benefits provided by the Endangered Species Act to both listed and non-listed species, as well as the people and communities sharing the landscape with them, since its passage in 1973.