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 Pages Tagged With: "wildlife"

What We Do About Animal Strandings in Delaware

An endangered fin whale was spotted struggling in the waters of Cape Henlopen State Park. Both the Delaware Natural Resources Police and the Marine Education, Research & Rehabilitation Institute responded. Learn what happened and how we respond to animal strandings in Delaware.


Nature’s Beauty – the Tony Florio Woodland Beach Wildlife Area

Photo Contest Winners! See nature’s beauty at DNREC’s Aquatic Resources Education Center near Smyrna.


Migratory Bird Hunting

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife provides opportunities for migratory bird hunting on state wildlife areas. The following is a summary of those opportunities and the procedures and rules that apply.
Hunting Seasons


Our Not So Secretive Marsh Birds

DNREC scientists are unlocking some of the mysteries of Delaware’s secretive marsh birds. Clapper rails, saltmarsh sparrows and other species are facing many challenges. How are they faring?


On the Move – Delmarva Fox Squirrels in Delaware

Delmarva fox squirrels are rare in Delaware. Just because you haven’t seen one of these large, silver-gray, fluffy-tailed squirrels doesn’t mean you won’t – especially if you live in Sussex County. Our Division of Fish and Wildlife just moved 15 more into the area, as part of an ongoing translocation program.


Meet the Lemurs (and More!) at The Brandywine Zoo

They have long striped tails, intense eyes and they’re full of antics. Meet the lemurs – and the other animals – at the Brandywine Zoo’s new Madagascar Exhibit.


Horseshoe Crabs, Shorebirds and the Delaware Bay

You can witness the amazing annual convergence of spawning horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds along the Delaware Bayshore every spring. DNREC’s DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor is one of the best places to observe this wonder of nature. The Horseshoe Crabs Each spring, with warming water temperatures, hundreds of thousands


Mosquito Control Spraying Calendar

The DNREC Mosquito Control Section provides multiple communication channels to share information about planned mosquito control spraying in Delaware. These include the mosquito control spraying calendar (below), the online Spray Zone Map and the Spray Zone Notification System. https://calendar.google.com/calendar/embed?src=glasgowmosquito%40gmail.com&ctz=America%2FNew_York


Spring – It’s Bird TV

Now is a great time to grab your binoculars to witness the spectacle of the return of our migrant bird species throughout the state. Outdoor Delaware sat down with our staff birders to talk about spring birding and what makes it so special.


Annual Turkey Harvest Data

The table below shows the numbers of wild turkeys harvested each year during annual Delaware wild turkey hunting seasons, from 1991 to the present.
Year Adult Juvenile Unk. Total 1991


Wild Turkey Surveys

Since 2010, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has used an annual, volunteer-based survey to record observations of wild turkeys across the state during the months of July and August.

Contact Us

Division of Fish and Wildlife 302-735-3600


Turkey Hunting Check Stations

All turkeys harvested during Delaware’s wild turkey hunting season must be checked at an authorized turkey check station by 2:30 p.m. on the day the bird is harvested. The list of check stations is subject to change without notice. Please check back before the season begins for any changes. Check station hours may vary.


Wild Turkey Hunting

The 2021 spring wild turkey hunting season will run from April 10 through May 8, 2021. A special one-day hunt for youth and non-ambulatory hunters is set for April 3, 2021.
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Turkey Harvest Distribution — Public Lands

The table below shows the distribution of wild turkeys harvested among public lands hunting areas for the 2016 through 2020 wild turkey hunting seasons. State Wildlife Areas are administered by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife. State Forest lands are administered by the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. [column


Wild Turkeys in Delaware

The wild turkey population in Delaware is one of the greatest conservation success stories in the region. The Division of Fish and Wildlife has reintroduced wild turkeys, once lost to Delaware. It now manages an ongoing conservation program and annual turkey hunting season.
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Scientific Collection Permits

The Division of Fish and Wildlife issues permits to collect protected wildlife, finfish, shellfish or their nests or eggs for scientific, education or propagating purposes. Permits are issued for up to one year and may require review and approval from a relevant taxa project leader.



Eco-Explorers Virtual Field Trip Registration

This form is for teachers and homeschool groups to register for an Eco-Explorers virtual field trip with the Aquatic Resources Education Center. There is no charge for the field trip but please register if you plan to use the virtual field trip material. This will help us provide additional programs in the future.


Virtual Eco-Explorers Field Trip Program

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Aquatic Resources Education Center now offers a virtual version of the Eco-Explorers field trip program that school groups can use until it becomes possible to resume traditional, in-person field trips.

Contact Us

Mary Rivera


Outdoor Delaware: Boating, Fishing and Hunting

Want to go cruisin’, drop a line or test your aim? Here’s where you’ll find out about seasons, safety, licenses and much more.


Outdoor Delaware: Animals

Hey animal lovers! Find out all about Delaware’s wildlife, from who’s new at the Brandywine Zoo to the other creatures that crawl, swim, walk and fly.


Outdoor Delaware: Conservation

Want to find out how we can help the environment? From habitat and wildlife protection to recycling, learn how we can conserve our natural resources.


Delaware Hunting Seasons

Delaware hunting seasons generally begin in September and run through early February of the following year. Specific seasons, based on species and method of take, begin and end on different dates throughout the year.
Wildlife Area Maps


Have You Seen Me?

We are mapping sightings of Delmarva fox squirrels and you can help. Use this form to report sightings and share information about this rare species. The Delmarva fox squirrel is no longer classified as an endangered or threatened species at the federal level. But it is still rare in Delaware. We are mapping the


Sunday Deer Hunting

State law allows Sunday deer hunting during established deer hunting seasons on private lands, with landowner permission, and on designated publicly-owned lands. Delaware’s 2021/2022 deer seasons fall between Sept. 1, 2021 and Jan. 31, 2022. Hunting on Sundays is allowed using those methods legal for the hunting seasons in effect on each Sunday. Deer


The Delaware Bayshore Initiative

Extending from Pea Patch Island in New Castle County to the City of Lewes in Sussex County, the Delaware Bay shoreline is widely recognized as an area of global ecological significance.
Its expansive coastal marshes, shoreline, agricultural lands and forests provide diverse habitat to many species, including


Aquatic Resources Education Center

The Aquatic Resources Education Center, operated by the Division of Fish and Wildlife, focuses on wetlands, fishing and other aquatic education themes.
Calling all photographers! Please submit your photographs for the first annual Aquatic Resources Education Center (AREC) nature photography contest. Learn More.



Plants and Plant Communities

Delaware has more than 1,600 species of native plants. More than a quarter of them are rare and can be found in more than 100 different terrestrial and wetland habitat types. The Division of Fish and Wildlife, working with the Water Resources Center, part of the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration, maintains


Become a Shorebird Project Volunteer

Spring brings the shorebird migration season. The Delaware Shorebird Project needs experienced and dedicated volunteers for the field season each spring.

Contact Us

Henrietta Bellman Coastal Avian Biologist 302-735-3600
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Federal Funding for Fish and Wildlife

The Division of Fish and Wildlife uses a combination of federal funds and revenue from recreational licenses and permits to fund wildlife conservation, habitat restoration, public access, hunting, fishing and other services. Delaware receives federal funds from the Wildlife Restoration Act, the Sport Fish Restoration Act, and State Wildlife Grants to support wildlife conservation,


Delaware Bay Ecology

The Delaware Bay is extraordinarily rich in biological resources. The beaches, mudflats, and marshes that line Delaware Bay provide abundant food and habitat for many species.

Contact Us

Henrietta Bellman Coastal Avian Biologist 302-735-3600



Piping Plover Program

Dwindling populations have landed the Piping Plovers on the federal Endangered Species List. Delaware’s Piping Plover Program monitors these beach-nesting birds, provides habitat protection and educates the beach-going public.

Contact Us

Henrietta Bellman Coastal Avian Biologist 302-735-3612


Shorebird Research and Monitoring

Each May, the Delaware Shorebird Project carries out its research objectives during the shorebirds’ stopover in the Bay. The brief field season brings long, but rewarding, days on the coast.

Contact Us

Henrietta Bellman Coastal Avian Biologist 302-735-3600


Osprey Monitoring

Delaware’s osprey population is one of the state’s greatest conservation success stories. From the days of DDT and the collapse of many raptor populations, including bald eagles and peregrine falcons, ospreys in Delaware have rebounded and the population continues to grow and expand state-wide.
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Delaware Wildlife Action Plan

The Division of Fish and Wildlife has created a Delaware Wildlife Action Plan to coordinate wildlife conservation practices in the 21st century. Funds appropriated by Congress through the State Wildlife Grants program require states to demonstrate comprehensive wildlife conservation needs. “Comprehensive” includes all species and all habitats. The federal State Wildlife


The Delaware Shorebird Project

Shorebirds are an important part of the ecology of Delaware’s shorelines. But they are under threat; populations are declining. The Delaware Shorebird Project works to mitigate that threat, through research and monitoring, habitat protection, and management planning.

Contact Us

Henrietta


Do-it-Yourself Phragmites Control Tips

The Division of Fish and Wildlife offers a phragmites control cost-share program to help landowners control larger stands of phragmites. There are steps landowners can take themselves to control smaller areas of phragmites. Herbicides That Can be Used
Sources for Aquatic Glyphosate


Cost Share Program Questions and Answers

A list of frequently asked questions, and answers, about the phragmites control cost-share program offered by the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Contact Us

James Joachimowski Impoundment/Habitat Biologist 302-725-3638
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Operation Terrapin Rescue at Port Mahon

Operation Terrapin Rescue is a volunteer program to help Diamondback terrapins move safely between the Delaware Bay and their nesting sites near Port Mahon. It also collects accurate and valuable data on the terrapins’ movements.

Contact Us

Nate Nazdrowicz Species Conservation


Environmental Reviews

The Species Conservation and Research Program (SCRP) continuously updates information on rare plant and animal species and vegetation communities in Delaware. The SCRP is the state’s most comprehensive, centralized source of information on rare plants, animals, and vegetation communities.

Contact Us




Delmarva Fox Squirrel Conservation

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife is implementing a conservation plan for the Delmarva fox squirrel. This sub-species of the fox squirrel, found only on the Delmarva Peninsula, is rare in Delaware. As part of the conservation plan, DNREC has begun a project to move squirrels from Maryland into southern Delaware. [column md=”6″


Delaware’s Endangered Species

Native wildlife species that are in danger of becoming extinct in Delaware may be listed as Endangered by the Division of Fish and Wildlife. To help prevent species from becoming endangered, Delaware currently has a Wildlife Action Plan in place for restoring and maintaining important habitats and dwindling populations of the state’s wildlife species.


Facts About Phragmites

Phragmites has been present in Delaware’s marshes for a long time. In fact, research shows that Phragmites (Phragmites australis) has been a part of the wetland ecosystem of North America for over 11,000 years. However, in the 1950s, Phragmites was identified as problematic in North American wetlands as a non-native European hybrid began to wreak


Private Lands Assistance

Delaware is a biologically diverse state with hardwood forests, swamps and coastal marshes that support over 400 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Despite significant strides in conservation, much of the wildlife habitat in Delaware remains isolated, degraded and unprotected as more land is converted to urban, commercial and industrial uses. [column md=”5″


Conservation Programs

The Division of Fish and Wildlife manages approximately 68,000 acres of Delaware land at 19 public wildlife areas that provide hunting and wildlife opportunities as well as habitat for a variety of species. The Division implements important wildlife and habitat conservation and education initiatives, like the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program and the Delaware


Delaware’s White-Tailed Deer

White-tailed deer are one of the most important wildlife species managed in Delaware. Wildlife-watchers, photographers, and hunters flock to the state in pursuit of deer. They contribute millions of dollars each year to the state’s economy.

Contact Us

DNREC Wildlife Section


Straight-Wall, Pistol-Caliber Rifles Allowed

Rifles chambered for straight-wall ammunition may be used to hunt deer in Delaware. Only straight-wall cartridges usable in handguns may be used that are of .357 to 38 caliber with a case length no less than 1.25 inches and a maximum case length of 1.82 inches, or .41 caliber to maximum of .50 caliber and a maximum case


Managed Hunts

Managed or controlled hunting is a highly organized effort to reduce the local deer population in urban areas. Hunters must apply and are selected for these hunts. Information on participating in managed hunts is available on the Master Hunter Program page. During the hunt, hunters have specified treestand locations and shooting directions and are not


Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a disease of the brain and nervous system in members of the family Cervidae (deer, elk, or moose). It has not been found in Delaware, but has in 26 other states and four Canadian provinces. State wildlife officials are taking steps to avoid its spread into Delaware. [column md=”5″


Deer Damage Assistance

Many farmers report significant damage to their crops caused by deer. By combining non-lethal techniques with targeted harvest, farmers can reduce crop damage.

Contact Us

Jessica Haggerty DNREC Wildlife Section 302-735-3600



Waterfowl Surveys

Since 1974, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has conducted annual waterfowl surveys to measure long-term trends in duck and goose populations. The survey results help increase biologists’ knowledge about the state’s waterfowl populations and habitat and help the state make informed decisions about habitat management and hunting.






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