The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) is responsible for the conservation - including restoration, protection and management - of fish and wildlife resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the public.
Originally founded in 1866 as a fisheries commission in response to citizen concerns about the loss of Atlantic salmon to dams and pollution, MassWildlife has evolved into its present structure, reflecting diverse citizen concerns for wildlife and other natural resources. Despite the fact that Massachusetts is the third most densely human populated state in the country, more than 650 species of wild mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and freshwater fish spend all or part of their lives in Massachusetts. These creatures, together with more than 2,500 species of plants, trees and shrubs, plus thousands of species of insects, mollusks and other invertebrates constitute the biological wealth and diversity of the Bay State. It's MassWildlife's role to balance the needs of wildlife with the needs of people, ensuring a quality environment for the benefit of all.