"And now for some good news..."

A phrase we sadly don't hear as much as we probably should. However, this story certainly falls into that category. And it's a bonus if you're an animal lover.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife posted a very sweet video on their Facebook page. And one that was very appropriate for the Easter holiday. 

The release of the cottontails was not just a special moment, but an important one. The MDIFW writes in their post that the New England cottontails are currently endangered in Maine. So, to be able to release eight babies and have them all survive the first few weeks is a tremendous accomplishment for all involved.

The MDIFW has a really interesting writeup about the entire cottontail restoration plan. From the original observation areas, to the creation of a habitat, and then to be able to release in that habitat, it truly highlights how important these little guys' survival has been.

Worldwide, the New England cottontail is listed as "vulnerable" by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, an international conservation organization that closely analyzes animal welfare. Vulnerable is the first level of what the IUCN calls "Threatened." The second level in the "Threatened" category is "Endangered." As the MDIFW points out, Maine (and New Hampshire for that matter) are both listed in the endangered category for New England cottontails.

Endangered is clearly a concern for officials here in Maine, and it's exactly why we are reading about this incredible project right now. I'm looking forward to seeing more and more updates about this, especially with the news that babies are in the near future.

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