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Connecticut's Wildlife Action Plan -- 2015 Revision

Creating a vision for the future of wildlife conservation

Current Status and Revision of the Plan

2015 Connecticut Wildlife Action Plan: View the final version of the Plan

2005 Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS): Read the original plan developed in 2005.

Background on the Original CWCS: Find out how the initial plan was first developed.

Current Status and Revision

Connecticut, along with other states across the country, recently completed a revision and update of its Wildlife Action Plan so as to establish both a state and national framework for proactively conserving our fish and wildlife, including their habitats, for the next decade of 2015-2025. Connecticut’s List of Species of Greatest Conservation Need also was revised. This entire effort involved adding new information on climate change and its impacts to wildlife conservation, updating resource mapping, refining conservation threats, and incorporating information gained through the implementation of the first Wildlife Action Plan completed in 2005. The revision also included the identification of new or revised conservation actions to help advance wildlife conservation over the next decade. Participation by conservation partners, academic institutions, and the public was key to making the revised Wildlife Action Plan an effective tool for conserving Connecticut's diversity of wildlife resources for future generations.

Final Version of the 2015 Wildlife Action Plan

Acronyms and Abbreviations (6 pages)

Executive Summary (6 pages)

Chapter 1 (97 pages): Information on the distribution and abundance of Connecticut’s wildlife and the process used to select species of greatest conservation need (GCN species).

Appendix 1 (62 pages)

Chapter 2 (48 pages): An overview of Connecticut’s landscapes and waterscapes and the process used to select 10 key habitats of greatest conservation need.

Appendix 2 (38 pages)

Chapter 3 (35 pages): Describes threats affecting GCN species or their habitats.

Appendix 3 (18 pages)

Chapter 4 (110 pages): Describes the status of the 10 key habitats, the GCN species that use these habitats, threats, conservation actions, and research needs.

Appendix 4 (44 pages)

Chapter 5 (24 pages): Describes the biological monitoring efforts for GCN species and key habitats, how the effectiveness of conservation actions will be measured, and how the strategy will incorporate adaptive management.

Chapter 6 (2 pages): Describes the process that Connecticut will use to revise and update the Wildlife Action Plan.

Chapter 7 (6 pages): Describes how DEEP coordinated the development of the Wildlife Action Plan with federal, state, local, and tribal partners.

Appendix 7 (32 pages)

Chapter 8 (6 pages): Describes efforts to seek stakeholder and public participation in the development of the Wildlife Action Plan.

Appendix 8 (17pages)

Element Guide and Change Log (10 pages): The Connecticut DEEP has prepared this guide as a road map for Connecticut's Wildlife Action Plan. Its purpose is to help the Regional Review Team and other users more easily navigate the CT-WAP document.

Wildlife Action Plan Meetings

The public was invited to participate in a series of meetings to learn about the revisions to Connecticut's Wildlife Action Plan and provide input for the future of wildlife conservation in our state. Several facilitated workshops, where public comments were encouraged, were held throughout the state during the first week of November 2014. The Wildlife Division would like to thank those who took the time to attend those workshops and provide meaningful input.

2005 Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy

Take an opportunity to read through the original plan (called the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy or CWCS) that was completed in October 2005 and approved by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in January 2006.

The 2005 plan is available for download in two ways. You may download the entire plan in one large zip file (11 files) or you may download individual sections. If you choose to download and save the plan files on your computer, you should save all of the files in the same folder. By saving all of the files in the same folder, the bookmarks in each file are preserved and you will be able to easily navigate among the different sections.

Introduction: Contains the Title Page, Table of Contents, Acknowledgements, an Executive Summary, a Guide to the Elements used in developing the CWCS, and the Introduction.

Chapter 1: Information on the distribution and abundance of Connecticut’s wildlife and the process used to select species of greatest conservation need (GCN species).

Chapter 2: An overview of Connecticut’s landscapes and waterscapes and the process used to select 12 key habitats of greatest conservation need.

Chapter 3: Describes threats affecting GCN species or their habitats.

Chapter 4: Describes the status of the 12 key habitats, the GCN species that use these habitats, threats, conservation actions, and research needs.

Chapter 5: Describes the biological monitoring efforts for GCN species and key habitats, how the effectiveness of conservation actions will be measured, and how the strategy will incorporate adaptive management.

Chapter 6: Describes the process that Connecticut will use to revise and update the CWCS.

Chapter 7: Describes how DEEP coordinated the development of the CWCS with federal, state, local, and tribal partners.

Chapter 8: Describes efforts to seek stakeholder and public participation in the development of the CWCS.

Literature Cited: List of publications and references used in the development of the CWCS.

Appendices: Appendices for each chapter (except chapters 5 and 6) that provide supporting and supplemental information regarding each of the required elements.

Background on the Original CWCS

How the original CWCS was developed:
DEEP completed an inventory and compilation of all the available data on the state's fish and wildlife resources, including existing conservation programs and management plans. Experts throughout the Department compiled available data to identify the species of greatest conservation need in Connecticut and their habitats. Over 100 existing conservation plans were identified, reviewed, and compiled to summarize previously determined priority species and habitats. These plans are local, regional, and national in scope and include strategic plans prepared by various Connecticut state agencies, The Nature Conservancy's ecoregional plans, Partners In Flight and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Bird Conservation and Management Plans, federally-listed species' recovery plans, open space protection plans, fisheries management plans, non-governmental organization strategic plans, species management plans, and much more. Input from cooperating conservation partners was solicited and scientific advisory committees established as part of Connecticut's Endangered Species Act (CT-ESA ) were convened to refine the species and habitat review process.

How species were selected:
Starting with over 1,000 species of wildlife found in the Connecticut Natural Diversity Data Base, species were divided by taxonomic group into five categories: Birds, Fishes, Herpetofauna (Reptiles and Amphibians), Invertebrates, and Mammals. A draft list of the species of greatest conservation need in each taxonomic group was then compiled by the Department. The species list went through a series of reviews and revisions by the CT-ESA scientific advisory committees before a final draft list was prepared.

How habitats were selected:
A draft list of 12 habitat types, based on the existing Vegetation Classification for Connecticut, was compiled. Descriptions of broad habitat types and a review of their relative conditions were also completed. Many of these habitat types contain ecological communities which are associated with unique suites of wildlife species. These habitat types and associated ecological communities were then reviewed by species experts and the CT-ESA scientific advisory committees.

Assessing threats and identifying research needs:
Existing data on threats to Connecticut's species in greatest conservation need and their associated habitats were collated through the compilation of all available management and conservation plans. Research and survey efforts that are summarized in some of these plans and reports, and those that have been identified as priorities by experts, were compiled for review by the CWCS planning team. Recommendations from key stakeholders (e.g., The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Connecticut, Connecticut Ornithological Association, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, scientific experts) have been included as well.

Development of conservation actions:
Existing management, strategic, and conservation plans were compiled for review. The conservation recommendations contained within these reports were evaluated in conjunction with relevant actions selected for consideration by the CWCS planning team. These actions have been organized into categories based on the five taxonomic groups and by action type. The Wildlife Division conducted a facilitated workshop to review/rank these conservation actions, and these conservation actions are being reviewed, revised, and ranked by the CT-ESA scientific advisory committees.

Content last updated on February 29, 2016.