MOUNT TABOR, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is adding 54 acres to the Otter Creek Wildlife Management Area, expanding it to a total of nearly 1,200 acres.

The Vermont Land Trust bought the forested land in Mount Tabor at auction and transferred it to the department when federal funds became available.

The conserved land includes deer wintering habit, wetlands and streams. The land also contains a healthy population of deer, bears, otters, beaver, mink, raccoons and muskrats.

Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter says increasing a large connected area of conserved habitat along the waterway will benefit fish and wildlife species. Porter says it'll also help to improve filter runoff and buffer against floods.