Habitat Assessments & Protocols
The following protocols are intended as guidelines to assist property owners, land managers, consultants, and Conservation Commissioners in protecting rare species populations and their habitats.
These protocols should lead to a more successful survey and final report for consideration by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (NHESP), which oversees review activities relating to the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MGL Ch. 131A) and its implementing regulations (321 CMR 10.00). Implementing these guidelines will also help property owners and land managers avoid potential violations of the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MGL c. 131A) and its implementing regulations (321 CMR 10.00).
Users of these protocols are advised that they do not supersede any law, regulation, or official policy of this or any other agency. Rather, these protocols are intended to complement existing regulatory review processes by providing scientifically-based survey recommendations.
Please note the following guidelines are in pdf format and were revised in January 2011:
Species Habitat Assessment Guidelines: Wildlife
- State-Listed Species Habitat Assessment and Survey Guidelines: Plants
- Mussel Transplant Protocols - Coming Soon! ("New" protocols in development)
Additional Guidelines for Rare Plant Collecting:
- Guidelines for Rare Plant collecting in Massachusetts
- Guidelines for Ethical Field Research on Rare Plant Species
Please note: Biologists conducting surveys for project proponents must be in possession of a valid Commercial Scientific Collection Permit for the project site in order to legally handle any state-listed species or collect samples of plants.