DEEP: Wildlife


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{Connecticut Wildlife magazine covers} Connecticut Wildlife magazine
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Sign up to receive Wildlife Highlights, a free electronic newsletter for anyone interested in Connecticut's wildlife and the outdoors! View the archived copy of the most recent edition: February 2018.
Avian Influenza Update: What You Need to Know
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Everything you need to know about Connecticut's Midwinter Eagle Survey, which is coordinated nationally by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Learn about Connecticut's top predator and how the Wildlife Division is surveying our state's bobcat population.
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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” (PDF). The posters can be displayed at town halls, visitor centers, parks, schools, and other public buildings/locations. A sign also is available to post near and along hiking trails: Be Bear Aware Sign for Hiking Trails (PDF).
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Connecticut's Young Forest Habitat Initiative
The Wildlife Division, in cooperation with other partners, has initiated the Young Forest Habitat Initiative to help restore important habitats. Projects associated with this initiative include: 1) New England Cottontail Restoration; 2) Shrubland Bird Monitoring; and 3) American Woodcock Habitat Use and Survival.
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This new cooperative program provides technical and financial assistance to non-industrial private forestland owners interested in implementing habitat management projects to create young forest habitat for wildlife.
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Private landowners, towns, organizations, and others can print or download a Swan Nesting Area Sign to post near swan nests to warn boaters in small watercrafts to keep their distance. While nesting and raising young, mute swans will aggressively defend their territories against perceived threats. Signs should be laminated to prevent weather damage.
{2018 CT Duck Stamp}
World renowned and Connecticut artist Chet Reneson's depiction of a pair of surf scoters  flying at the mouth of the Connecticut River with the Saybrook Jetty and Lighthouse in the background was selected as the winner of DEEP's 2017-2018 Connecticut Duck Stamp Art Contest. The image will be featured on the 2018 Connecticut Duck Stamp. Conservation Edition Prints are now available in a limited quantity. View a slideshow of the artwork submitted for the contest held in 2017.
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CT NASP is an in-school program typically taught during physical education classes. The program is designed to teach International-style target archery skills with the help of a pre-written curriculum which meets or exceeds national physical education standards. Visit the CT NASP webpage for more information.
{BNR 150th Anniversary Logo}
The DEEP Bureau of Natural Resources celebrated 150 Years of Natural Resource Conservation in Connecticut in 2016! We looked back at our history and also forward to the future of natural resources in our state. Check out our historical timeline Connecticut Bureau of Natural Resources Through the Years and see what it was like "Then and Now."
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Sightings of banded purple martins WANTED: You can help by keeping an eye out for banded purple martins starting in spring. Learn more about this species of special concern and how to get involved.
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Barn Island WMA Comprehensive Management Plan
DEEP is in the process of developing a comprehensive management plan for Barn Island Wildlife Management Area in Stonington. Stakeholders and the public were given the opportunity to comment on a Management Assessment Report prepared by Connecticut College. The department is currently compiling the comments and preparing a final draft of the management plan. As soon as it is available, the draft will be posted for public review.
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.
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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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Learn about this unique Connecticut bird and how you can help its declining population. 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.
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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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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.
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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).
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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 February 8, 2018.