The Vermont Wildlife Diversity Program is part of the
Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department's Wildlife Division. The focus of this
program area is to inventory, manage, and conserve Vermont's nongame wildlife
(vertebrates and invertebrates), native plants, and natural communities.
Specific activities staff engage in include the collection, management and
dissemination of up-to-date information about rare species and significant
natural communities in support of planning, management and protection effort.
Staff also create, implement and evaluate population and habitat management
and protection strategies.
Through educational efforts, the staff often
partners with other groups to help foster an appreciation of and respect
for our natural resources and to promote an understanding of the need to
protect and manage these resources. Staff frequently work with landowners,
government agencies and the public to provide technical assistance on a wide
range of natural resource questions.
The program has a dedicated staff of six full-time positions. However, work
in the nongame area also is performed by biologists from throughout the
Natural communities are an assemblage of plants and animals that are found
recurring across a specific landscape under similar environmental conditions
where natural processes, rather than human disturbances, prevail. Below are
documents related to natural communities.
Vernal pools are small depressions in forests that fill with water in the spring and fall. They provide breeding habitat for many salamanders and frogs and have characteristic populations of fairy shrimp, fingernail clams, snails, water fleas, and copepods. Vegetation is usually sparse or absent, although adjacent forest trees may shade the pool.
Wetland, Woodland, Wildland: A Guide to the Natural Communities of Vermont
This book describes the eight biophysical regions and the 80 natural community types recognized in Vermont. This 456 page paperback book may be purchased from bookstores. The full reference is: Wetland, Woodland, Wildland: A Guide to the Natural Communities of Vermont. E.H. Thompson and E.R. Sorenson. 2000 and 2005. Published by The Nature Conservancy and Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, distributed by University Press of New England. ISBN 1-58465-077-X, $24.95
An electronic version can be found in the library section of this Website: Wetland,Woodland,Wildland
Rare, Threatened and Endangered Species
Threatened and Endangered Species
The following list of plants and animals is adopted as the Vermont Endangered and Threatened Species List pursuant to 10 V.S.A., Chapter 123. The term endangered generally refers to species whose continued existence as a viable component of the state's wild fauna or flora is in jeopardy, while threatened species is defined as a species whose numbers are significantly declining because of loss of habitat or human disturbance, and unless protected will become an endangered species.
Rare and Uncommon Species
A rare species is one that has only a few populations in the state and that faces threats to its continued existence in Vermont. Rare species face threats from development of their habitat, harassment, collection, and suppression of natural processes, such as fire.
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department uses a ranking scheme that describes the rarity of species in Vermont. The range is from S1 (very rare) to S5 (common and widespread).
Species are assigned a rank based on the number of known occurrences, the population size, and the degree to which the populations are threatened. For example, creeping juniper and lake sturgeon are S1 species, whereas sugar maple and raccoons are S5 species.
Using this system, VFWD biologists and other experts assign an S1 rank to a species when it may occur in five or fewer populations in the state and/or when the species is threatened with extinction. Rare species with six to 20 populations are given an S2 rank; threats are also considered. Species with 21 to 100 populations are assigned a S3 rank and are generally considered to be uncommon or a watch-list species.
Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle
The Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle Recovery Plan aims to identify effective actions that when implemented will contribute to the conservation and recovery of the state-threatened
Eastern spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera spinifera) in Vermont. It outlines population assessment and monitoring needs for tracking changes in
distribution and abundance of the population as well as for determining success or failure of the recovery effort.
Bald Eagle Restoration
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is coordinating a bald eagle
restoration effort in the Lake Champlain basin. The three-year project
will translocate and release young bald eagles at a “hack site” at the Dead
Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison, VT. Partners in this project
include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Wildlife Federation,Outreach for Earth Stewardship, and Central Vermont Public Service.
Learn more about bald eagles and this project by visiting the Eagle
Website. The site features an eagle photo gallery, eagle facts and children's games.
Below are additional documents and forms related to rare, threatened and endangered species in Vermont