Volunteers sought for citizen science
Steep Rock Association, a land trust in Washington is seeking volunteers to help with a New England Cottontail pellet survey Feb. 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Volunteers will search for and collect rabbit pellets to be processed and sent in for lab analysis to determine if SRA’s Macricostas Preserve is still home to Connecticut’s only native rabbit - the New England Cottontail.
NECs require large patches of early successional habitat, preferring forested thickets.
The more volunteers willing to participate, the more likely the trust will be able to document this species that has become increasingly threatened by competition from the introduced Eastern Cottontail and diminished habitat availability.
Citizen science is a method where non-professionals contribute to scientific studies.
It has proved to be an effective way of performing projects, some that may not be achievable otherwise, while engaging and educating the community.
Due to the ecology of NECs, this project is a quality citizen science opportunity.
This study is weather-dependent (requiring a relatively fresh snow).
Back-up dates of Feb. 16 and 22 have been scheduled i f snow cover on Feb. 15 does not meet protocol requirements.
Participants should meet at SRA’s main Macricostas Preserve parking lot located at 124 Christian St. in New Preston.
Depending on snow depth, snowshoes may be advisable. All other equipment will be provided on site.
All ages are welcome; however, children must be accompanied by an adult.
Registration is required by visiting www.steeprock
assoc.org/events-programs/ or calling 860-868-9131.