NEPARC Conservation Awards

2016 Award Winner

Michael Marchand is a wildlife biologist for the Nongame & Endangered Wildlife Program at the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department (NHFG) and has been the NH representative and active participant for the Northeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (NEPARC) since 2004. During annual meetings, he has given presentations, led multiple NEPARC working groups, and assisted with overall organization.  Michael co-chaired the development of the Northeast Species of Regional Responsibility and Conservation Concern product which was adopted by the Northeast Wildlife Diversity Technical group and the methodology was applied to other taxonomic groups.  He also initiated a Snake Fungal Disease working group at the 2012 NEPARC meeting which helped lead to numerous partnerships nationwide, regional and national grants, and name recognition for the disease.  Michael has shown strong leadership by co-chairing NEPARC for two years, participating in the NEPARC steering committee for 8 years, and hosting a meeting in NH. He also spearheaded early efforts to develop a guidance document for NEPARC operations and vision.

While at the NH Fish & Game Department, Michael helped write, compile, and coordinate portions of the 2005 and 2015 New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plans and is implementing high priority actions including species recovery for timber rattlesnake, Blanding’s turtle, wood turtle, black racer, freshwater mussels, and other highly imperiled species. Particularly noteworthy, he has partnered with land trusts and funders to protect thousands of acres for imperiled Blanding’s turtle and timber rattlesnake. Michael is chair of the Northeast Blanding’s turtle working group, and coordinates multi-state (NH, ME, MA, NY, PA) grants to develop conservation plans and implement priority actions for Blanding’s turtles and has been actively involved in the development and implementation of regional grants for wood turtles and timber rattlesnakes.

In addition to targeted species recovery efforts, Michael coordinates the NH Reptile and Amphibian Reporting Program, coordinated the development and continued evaluation of an innovative online wildlife reporting website, and is the editor of ‘Identifying and Documenting Vernal Pools in New Hampshire.’ In an effort to enhance the public’s attitude towards reptiles and amphibians, Michael has published a tremendous amount of information on reptiles and amphibians through the NHFG website and has provided numerous interviews to newspapers, radio and television programs and written popular articles.

Supplemental to proactive conservation planning efforts, Michael has helped enhance state regulations for the protection of reptiles and amphibians. He successfully established rules in NH to protect reptiles and amphibians from over-collection, recommended changes to the state threatened and endangered wildlife list, and worked with NHFG law enforcement to monitor compliance of state regulations. Michael regularly coordinates with other resource agencies, consultants, and developers while reviewing proposed development projects and negotiating solutions to minimize adverse impacts to protected wildlife and represents the NHFG on a wetlands mitigation fund selection committee that has distributed millions of dollars to land acquisition and restoration.

Prior to joining NH Fish & Game, Michael studied the effects of fragmentation and development on turtles as part of his graduate work at the University of New Hampshire. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, hiking and skiing in the mountains, relaxing at the lake or ocean, and exploring as much of the world as possible.

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Northeast Partners in Amphibian & Reptile Conservation is fiscally sponsored by the Amphibian & Reptile Conservancy a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit.