Environment
4:00 am
Fri January 24, 2014

RI DEM To Update Wildlife Conservation Plan

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is updating its wildlife conservation plan. It’s part of a nationwide initiative to identify threatened and endangered species, and set aside money to protect them. Some of those species include big brown bats, herring, and spotted turtles.

The presence of spotted turtles in wetlands can say a lot about a wetland's health. This is why spotted turtles and other endangered species are valuable species, because they are considered "bioindicators" of a habitat's health.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

This year’s project has a community outreach person who will oversee work done by cities and towns and help put their conservation plans to work. The DEM’s Jay Osenkowski says this piece was missing the first time the state launched this initiative.

“What we found [in 2005] was the plan was not well used by towns because it was a massive document, almost 400 pages,” said Osenkowski.

This project is a collaboration between the DEM and other nonprofits doing conservation work.  Every state has to update its conservation plan every 10 years.