DEEP: Wildlife


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{Connecticut Wildlife magazine cover}   Connecticut Wildlife magazine
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NEW! Avian Influenza Update: What You Need to Know
{BNR 150th Anniversary Logo} NEW! Join us in celebrating 150 Years of Natural Resource Conservation in Connecticut! Throughout 2016, we will look back at our history and also look ahead to the future of natural resources in our state. Follow along with the celebration and participate in special events to be held year-long. Check out our historical timeline: Connecticut Bureau of Natural Resources Through the Years.
{2016 Connecticut Duck Stamp}
NEW! Connecticut Duck Stamp Art Contest Winner Announced!
Wildlife artist Mark Thone's painting of canvasbacks at the mouth of the Thames river is the winner of DEEP's 2016-2017 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation (Duck) Stamp contest. It will be featured on the 2017 CT Duck Stamp. View a slideshow of the artwork submitted for the contest.
{Turkey poult} NEW! The Wildlife Division is requesting your assistance in conducting the annual Wild Turkey Brood Survey. The survey period begins June 1 and runs through August 31. Each cooperator is requested to keep track of all poults and hens observed, town, road, intersecting road, and date of observation. View more information and download the observation form if you would like to participate.
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Save the Dates! Connecticut Hunting & Fishing Day will be held on two days this year: Saturday, September 10, 2016, at the Wildlife Division's Franklin Wildlife Management Area in North Franklin and Saturday, September 24, 2016, at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area in Burlington. Both events will be from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM. These FREE events feature activities for all ages, including target shooting; hunting dog demonstrations; archery; children’s crafts and activities; fishing demonstrations; and more! Equipment vendors, sporting clubs, fish & wildlife exhibits, and conservation organizations will also be present. Stay tuned for more details!
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NEW! Public Comments Requested on Barn Island WMA Management Assessment Report
DEEP has started the process of developing a comprehensive management plan for Barn Island Wildlife Management Area in Stonington. The department is currently seeking public comment on a Management Assessment Report prepared by Connecticut College. The deadline for submitting comments is June 30, 2016.
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Be Bear Aware
Learn more about black bears in Connecticut.
Print or download an informational poster that gives advice on preventing conflicts with bears and on what to do if you encounter a bear. Three different sizes are available: small-8 ˝”x 11”, medium-8 ˝”x14”, and large-11”x17”. The posters can be displayed at town halls, visitor centers, parks, schools, and other public buildings/locations.
You may be familiar with the pollinating habits of bees and butterflies, but there are many others to explore such as flies, beetles, moths, and wasps. All are necessary for the variety of flowers, fruits, and vegetables that we enjoy every day.
{spotted turtle}
Last updated in 2010, DEEP is required to review and update the Connecticut list every five years. The revision is now complete and became effective on August 5, 2015.
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Connecticut's Wildlife Action Plan
The final version of the 2015 Connecticut Wildlife Action Plan was approved by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in January 2016. This plan establishes both a state and national framework for proactively conserving our fish and wildlife, including their habitats, for the next 10 years.
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WANTED -- Sightings of color-banded purple martins! If you see a purple martin with colored leg bands, please report it to and let us know 1) where you saw it; 2) when you saw it; and 3) the color of the legs bands. More information (PDF)
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Learn about this unique Connecticut bird and how you can help its declining population. Find out how to become a volunteer Chimney Swift Monitor or a Swiftlord. A curriculum on chimney swifts is available for elementary school students in grades 1-2, as well as a Chimney Swift Ambassador program for high school students.
{shrubland} Young Forest and Shrubland Initiative
The Wildlife Division in cooperation with other partners has initiated the Young Forest and Shrubland Initiative to help restore important habitats. Projects associated with this initiative include: 1) New England cottontail restoration, 2) upland shrubland bird monitoring, and 3) American woodcock habitat use and survival.
{osprey nesting area sign}
Help prevent disturbance to nesting ospreys! Private landowners, towns, organizations, and others can print or download a "Stay Away from Nesting Area" sign to post near osprey nesting platforms. Use your printer menu to scale the sign to whatever size is needed. Signs should be laminated to prevent weather damage.
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Common Shorebirds of Connecticut (PDF 3.4 mb)
An identification guide to shorebirds observed in Connecticut.
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Volunteer Opportunities
Find out how you can help the DEEP Wildlife Division with a variety of monitoring and research projects. Projects include Chimney Swift Watch, Summer Night Bird Callback Survey, Wild Turkey Brood Survey, and other bird surveys.
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Continuing Ruffed Grouse Research: To obtain distribution and harvest information, the Wildlife Division is asking the public for ruffed grouse sighting and grouse parts. Grouse sightings may consist of actual bird observations or drumming activity. Individuals are also asked to send in grouse wings and tails from hunter harvested or road-killed birds. These items are used to determine the age and sex of grouse, which will assist in assessing productivity and harvest composition. To report grouse sightings and/or donate grouse parts, please contact Michael Gregonis at or 860-642-7239.
{Little brown bats at Roxbury Maine}
Bats in Connecticut
Find out how you can help the DEEP Wildlife Division monitor Connecticut's bat populations. Report your observations of bats around your home and neighborhood by submitting a Public Bat Sightings Form (Word Form / PDF).
{banded american kestrel}
Wanted: Color Banded American Kestrel Sightings! Tom Sayers, a kestrel researcher from eastern Connecticut, initiated a project in spring 2012 that uses colored leg bands to identify American kestrels that nested or hatched in Connecticut. So far, he has banded 18 adult kestrels and over 100 young birds. The color bands, depending on the pattern, can be found either on the right leg, left leg, or both legs. Each color combination represents a unique nest box in his study area. If you see a kestrel with color bands on its legs, please email Tom at Include the date and time of your observation, the location (closest road junction or GPS coordinates), the color scheme of the bands, as well as your contact information. Observations of these raptors are an important part of this study to determine where the birds travel and to identify which birds return to Connecticut next spring to breed.
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Federal Funding for Fish and Wildlife

Content last updated on May 26, 2016.