Rare Species Information
Massachusetts has a rich biological legacy and is home to a wide array of plants and animals.
Some of these species are unique to our state, others have their largest, most stable populations here, and yet others are still relatively common.
There are 176 species of vertebrate and invertebrate animals and 259 species of native plants that are officially listed as Endangered, Threatened or of Special Concern in Massachusetts and tracked by the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program.
This section of the Natural Heritage Program website provides:
- The list of species listed under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA)
- A a tally of the MESA list by biological group
- A summary of recent changes to the MESA list
- A list of all MESA-listed species observed and documented in each town
You can also:
- Learn more about many of the 435 MESA-listed species by reading informative fact sheets about a species' life history, habitat, and distribution
- Request rare species information for a particular location
- Report rare species to the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program
The Natural Heritage Program maintains GIS shapefiles as well as a variety of town-specific information that will be useful to all those working toward conservation at the statewide or municipal level.