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5. Massachusetts Endangered Species Act
Authorities: M.G.L. c. 131A: Massachusetts Endangered Species Act; 321 CMR 8:00: List of Endangered and Threatened Species; 321 CMR 10:00: Massachusetts Endangered Species Regulations.
Jurisdiction: Plants and animals in the Commonwealth that are endangered, threatened, or species of concern, and their habitats.
Applicability: Alterations of significant endangered or threatened species habitat, as designated by the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP), require a permit from the NHESP.
Regulatory Summary: The state’s Endangered Species Act provides for listing of endangered or threatened species or species of concern, and of their habitat. Once listed, the Act prohibits the taking, possession, transport, export, processing, sale or purchase of such species and any other species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (6). The Act prohibits any alteration of significant habitat of any protected species that may reduce the viability of the habitat. The Act is administered by NHESP within the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG, formerly the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement). The NHESP publishes a map of estimated threatened and endangered species habitat, however, the resident species are not identified to prevent unauthorized takings. The Massachusetts program also coordinates with the federal Endangered Species Act (6), administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (http://endangered.fws.gov).
Review Process: If a project is proposed in estimated rare or endangered species habitat, as delineated on the NHESP database, a Rare Species Information Request Form must be submitted to NHESP. The NHESP will determine the rare species present in the estimated habitat and recommend measures to protect them. The permit is issued within about four weeks from receipt of a complete Request.
Forms: Rare Species Information Request Form at www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/nhesp/regulatory_review/pdf/inforequform_elect.pdf.
Contact: NHESP (508) 792-7270.
Publication Date: Fall, 2003
A publication of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA170Z2338. This publication is funded (in part) by a grant/cooperative agreement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or any of its sub-agencies.