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 Pages Tagged With: "wildlife"

Division of Fish and Wildlife

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on approximately 68,000 acres of public land. The division oversees wildlife resource conservation and control of mosquito populations and offers hunter, boating and aquatic education programs. It provides licenses


American Oystercatchers

American oystercatchers are black and white shorebirds with bright orange beaks that feed and nest on the beach. The Beach-Nesting Bird Program monitors the population and productivity of American oystercatchers in Delaware. An American oystercatcher incubating a nest. (Photo: Henrietta Bellman) These birds begin arriving in Delaware in March, start


Least Terns

Least terns are the smallest species of tern in North America, with an orange-yellow beak and mask-like black markings on the head. The Beach-Nesting Bird Program monitors the population and productivity of least terns in Delaware. A male and female least tern conducting a courtship ritual. The male presents the female with


Beach-Nesting Birds

Dwindling shorebird populations have landed several species on Delaware’s Endangered Species List. The DNREC Beach-Nesting Bird Program monitors the endangered breeding shorebirds, provides habitat protection, and provides information to the public about beach-nesting species. The Beach-Nesting Bird Program primarily focuses on three species — Piping Plovers, American Oystercatchers and Least


Mosquito Control

DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section provides mosquito control services throughout Delaware to maintain quality of life and protect public health by reducing the possibility of mosquito-borne illnesses.
For help with nuisance mosquitoes where you live, call one of our field offices: The Northern Delaware Office, 302-836-2555, serving New Castle County


Exploring Delaware’s Open Spaces

Take a journey with us as we explore some of the unique properties acquired through the Delaware Open Space Program administered by the DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation and the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife.


Drawn to Herons: An Illustrated Story

Join DNREC designer Christy Shaffer as she takes us on an illustrated journey to discover the beauty of herons found in Delaware.


Bald Eagle Nesting Survey

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife plans an aerial survey of bald eagle nesting sites during the late winter of 2023. You can help biologists plan for this survey by reporting bald eagle nests to the state.
Report a Bald Eagle Nest


Wildlife Viewing in Delaware’s State Wildlife Areas

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) provides numerous outdoor recreation opportunities on public lands, including elevated wildlife-viewing structures on several state wildlife areas managed by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife.
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Delaware Whitetail Deer Records

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife maintains records of the top hunter-taken whitetail deer in Delaware, using the Boone and Crockett scoring system. The records include whitetails taken in any year.
State Deer Rankings All-Time Typical Whitetail Deer Non-Typical


Sharks in Delaware Waters

If you’re swimming in Delaware waters, particularly in the ocean, you’re probably swimming near sharks. But they actually have more to fear from us than the other way around.


Deer Stands or Ground Blinds on State Wildlife Areas

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife requires hunters to register temporary deer stands or ground blinds they place on state wildlife areas.

Contact Us

DNREC Wildlife Section 302-739-9912
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Delaware Hunters Against Hunger

Delaware’s deer hunters share part of their harvest each year with Delawareans in need. They provide thousands of pounds of venison through the Delaware Hunters Against Hunger program. Delivering boxes of venison to a food distribution hub. All donated deer are processed into ground venison, free of charge. The


Wildlife Mortality Survey

If you see sick wildlife, or dead wildlife where it looks like the cause of death is an illness, please report it to the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife. If you see five or more sick or dead wild animals at the same location, please also call division staff at 302-735-3600


Reporting Sick or Dead Wildlife

Wildlife disease surveillance, prevention, and control are crucial factors for safeguarding Delaware’s citizens, wildlife, pets, and livestock. Citizen reports help state biologists monitor wildlife populations in Delaware. If you see


Volunteer With the Piping Plover Program

To ensure continued breeding success, the DNREC Piping Plover Program depends on volunteers to help inform the public about the breeding progress of the plovers and the importance of staying out of closed areas.

Contact Us

Shorebird Project Staff 302-735-3600



Volunteer With the Delaware Kestrel Partnership

The kestrel monitoring program relies on community scientist volunteers who dedicate time from March through July each year to help monitor kestrel boxes across the state. This page provides information on the volunteer program and a form to register to join the effort.
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American Kestrel Monitoring and Management

American kestrel populations in Delaware have declined. Once commonly seen perched along telephone wires and fence posts, this falcon is now a rare sight across our state. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife works to study and manage the state’s population of American kestrels.
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Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day

Two separate, one-day, special youth waterfowl hunting days are open on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, and Saturday Feb. 3, 2024, for hunters ages 10 through 15. Normal daily waterfowl bag limits and hunting regulations apply, including a limit of 25 snow geese, 2 Canada geese, and 1 brant.


Shorebird Volunteer Form

This page is a volunteer registration form for those interested in volunteering to help with the spring field season of the Delaware Shorebird Project. Participants must be at least 18 years of age to volunteer with the Shorebird Project. Commitment Volunteers should plan on committing to


Delaware’s Endangered Species: DNREC Keeps Today’s Wildlife from Becoming Tomorrow’s Memory

Delaware’s Endangered Species – there here are 86 animals on Delaware’s endangered species list, including the American kestrel, the northern long-eared bat and the barking tree frog.


Delaware’s Endangered Species: What DNREC’s Doing to Help

The red knot, monarch butterfly and Delmarva fox squirrel are among the nearly 100 animals on Delaware’s endangered species list. Learn more about what DNREC is doing to ensure thriving wildlife diversity in Delaware.


It’s a Big Year at DNERR

Calling all birders – experienced or not – to help the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve have a Big Year!


Good Eats from Nature’s Bounty

Looking for something different on your plate? We asked DNREC folks to share their most wildly delicious recipes for harvested game.


Operation Game Theft Report Form

Use this form to report wildlife crime through DNREC’s Operation Game Theft. Information supplied in this form is strictly confidential and will not be released to the public. Use this form to report a crime that is not in progress. If you need to report a wildlife crime in progress,


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. (Updated Aug. 21, 2023)
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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
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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 DNREC 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. The survey generates an index of annual turkey productivity and recruitment (the ratio of young birds per adult females).


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


Wild Turkey Hunting

The 2024 spring wild turkey hunting season will run from April 13 through May 11, 2024. A special one-day hunt for youth and non-ambulatory hunters is set for April 6, 2024.
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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 2014 through 2023 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. [column md=”6″ xclass=”col-xs-12 col-lg-5


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

The Aquatic Resources Education Center offers a virtual version of the Eco-Explorers field trip program. The resources of the virtual field trip are useful for students or school groups unable to attend traditional, in-person field trips and as supplementary and review material for in-person field trip participants.



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.


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 deer seasons fall between the start of September and the end of the following January. Hunting on Sundays is allowed using those methods legal for the hunting seasons in effect on


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





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