About New Hampshire Wildlife Sightings
Why was NH Wildlife Sightings developed?
Many potentially useful observations of wildlife are made by landowners, recreationists, birders, hunters and fishermen, foresters, and general wildlife enthusiasts. Through NH Wildlife Sightings, professionals and other citizens can report their wildlife observations. Following an intensive quality control and review process, observation data will be used by the NH Fish & Game Department to help assess the status of wildlife and evaluate appropriate conservation strategies.
- Report your observations of wildlife species.
- Report a vernal pool and associated wildlife species.
- Report animals killed or observed on roadways.
- Use a mapping tool to identify the location of your observation.
- Upload photographs with your observation to allow wildlife professionals to verify your species indentifications.
- View your submitted observations on a map and table and add new observations to ‘Sites’ you have already established.
- View town distribution maps for wildlife species.
- Track your wildlife observations for a particular area over time.
- Download all of your personal observations.
Which wildlife species can I report to NH Wildlife Sightings?
Not all species found in NH can be reported through this website but many can. Species not currently listed on the website may be added over time as the need and interest arises. These changes will be identified in the "Updates to species list" option under the "Species of interest" menu. Initially, NH Wildlife Sightings is focused on: (a) species identified in the NH Wildlife Action Plan as Species in Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) and (b) taxonomic groups with existing reporting programs in NH. For example, all reptiles and amphibians can be reported through the NH Wildlife Sightings because NH Fish & Game has coordinated a citizen based Reptile and Amphibian Reporting Program (RAARP) since 1992.
Check out the list of wildlife species that you can enter into the Wildlife Sightings website. View town maps of where species have been reported.
Learn how to enter your observations
Read an overview of the wildlife sightings data entry process…
How will I report the location of my observation?
You will need to know precisely where you observed the wildlife species. Once you login with your User Name and password and choose the Report Wildlife menu, you will have the option of either entering coordinates (e.g., latitude/longitude) from a GPS unit or using a mapping tool to click on the exact location of your observation. The location you identify on the map is referred to as a ‘Site’. Multiple observations of either different species or different dates can be entered at a single ‘Site’ without having to remap the location. New locations are remapped as new Sites.
What locations and timeframes should I submit wildlife observations for?
Wildlife reports throughout New Hampshire are of interest. Some species may only occur in portions of the state but there are species to observe and report in all New Hampshire towns. Location-specific observations are particularly valuable for species that are of higher conservation concern (including endangered and threatened species). It is also valuable to know that a particular species was observed in the same vicinity at different times. Historic observations may be reported, but are mostly of interest for rare species and will be more useful if well documented (e.g., with exact locations and photographs). Participants in NH Wildlife Sightings must obey all local, state, and federal laws while collecting wildlife location data. Observers are strongly encouraged to get landowner permission before going onto private property.
Do I need to have formal training in wildlife biology to report observations?
There is no specific experience level needed to report wildlife observations to NH Wildlife Sightings. However, we encourage all participants to improve their skills in wildlife identification by using field guides and attending workshops and trainings. An intensive quality control and review process will be conducted by NH Fish & Game for all observations reported to NH Wildlife Sightings. Reporting your level of experience with different taxonomic groups (e.g., reptiles, birds, freshwater mussels, etc.) will aid biologists in verifying the quality of your records.
Are photographs necessary with my reports?
No. However, we strongly encourage photographs be submitted with reports whenever possible to aid NH Wildlife Sightings biologists in verifying the quality of records. Photographs submitted must be of the wildlife individual(s) that is being reported and not of a previously observed individual or a photograph obtained elsewhere. For some species that are difficult to identify, good-quality photographs may be necessary for verification. Even if you have a photograph, it is important to provide a detailed description of the traits (e.g., size, patches of color, behavior) that you used for identification, even if the species identification seems obvious to you. Never risk harm to the animal or to yourself when trying to take a photograph. Some species are protected by state and/or federal law and can’t be legally possessed (including but not limited to Endangered and Threatened species).
Can my reports be edited after they are submitted?
You may edit your reports until NH Fish & Game has reviewed the record. Once your record is reviewed, edits will no longer be allowed. Therefore, it is critical for you to review the information you have entered to ensure it is accurate.
What will happen to data after it is entered into NH Wildlife Sightings?
All data collected through this site will be forwarded to wildlife professionals at NH Fish & Game, who will review and verify the individual records. Following quality control, data will be used for conservation planning and implementation by NH Fish & Game and our program partners. For example, verified reports will be used to assess the distribution of wildlife species in New Hampshire, evaluate changes in distribution over time, and provide insights into the natural history of NH wildlife. Town level distribution maps for wildlife species will be generated and made available for viewing by the public through this site. Verified records of rare species will be sent to the Natural Heritage Program and added to a database of ecologically significant features. These data may be used in a variety of conservation planning initiatives, including the review of projects that could have potentially adverse impacts on wildlife.
Which internet browser should I use with Wildlife Sightings?
The site has been tested with the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. We recommend using the latest version of the your preferred browser for the best experience.
NH Wildlife Sightings Host
NH Wildlife Sightings was created through a joint effort of the NH Fish & Game Department, UNH Earth Systems Research Center, NH Natural Heritage Bureau, NH Audubon Society, and UNH Cooperative Extension. The site is being hosted by GRANIT at the UNH Earth Systems Research Center.
NH Wildlife Sightings was first developed in 2002 thanks to a grant from the Samuel P. Pardoe Foundation. Site improvements in 2008 were made possible by funding from the New Hampshire GIS Conservation Collaborative Fund for Geospatial Technologies and US Fish & Wildlife Service – State Wildlife Grants provided by the NH Fish & Game Department. Site improvements made during 2014 were funded by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Fish and Wildlife Service – State Wildlife Grants, and NH conservation license plate ("moose plate") funds provided from the NH Fish & Game Department.