New England Cottontail Habitat Management Project -- Species Documentation

Cottontail scat was collected throughout the Habitat Management Project
 to determine the species and abundance of cottontails at Apple Hill on January 22, 2013. 

Nicki Hall and Alyce Walker helped collect cottontail scat at the Habitat Management Project at Apple Hill that targets the conservation of the New England Cottontail.  We collected a total of 14 pellets throughout the study area after approximately 0.75 inches of snow accumulated yesterday evening.  It was great conditions to collect scat samples for this project because it remained cold enough throughout the preceding evening and this morning that we could take our time following every trail that we encountered to observe scat.  There was plenty of cottontail tracks and scat throughout the area, especially where the shrubby cover was very dense.  The scat will be transported to our colleagues at CT DEEP, Wildlife Division, who have advised us throughout the term of this project.  The scat will be used to extract molecular information that will tell us which species inhabits the Apple Hill area.  Two species of cottontail reside in Connecticut.  The native species that adapted and evolved to the ecological processes in our region is called the New England Cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis).  The other species that was introduced to the state and has become more common is the Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus).

Cottontail Scat and Tracks in Snow.

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