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Wildlife Diversity Program

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 department.

For more information on the Wildlife Diversity Program: Fact Sheets

Recovery Plans

Species Lists

Natural Communities

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 Pool

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.

Below are additional documents and forms related to rare, threatened and endangered species in Vermont

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