Find out about the major activities in which the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) are involved. These activities are based on the agency's mandate and responsibility for the conservation - including restoration, protection and management--of fish and wildlife resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the public.
MassWildlife holds and manages an extraordinarily diverse system of wildlife management areas and sanctuaries designed to forever ensure the survival, health and viability of all our native wildlife communities. As of July 2007, over 165,000 acres of land is in the care and control of MassWildlife. With 6 million people on 5 million acres, space for wildlife and people is at a premium. Wild things are sustained by wild places. We cannot retain our rich variety of wildlife if we do not preserve places for them to live.
More on Land Protection
Wildlife Monitoring & Restoration
MassWildlife monitors, and restores fish and wildlife species in the Commonwealth. Success stories include the wild turkey, American shad, and bald eagle. Ongoing restoration projects are directed at species as diverse as the redbelly turtle, American burying beetle, peregrine falcon and piping plover. MassWildlife also monitors wildlife species to protect significant ecological areas.
Providing Recreational Opportunities
MassWildlife provides a host of recreational opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts of every kind. Birders, naturalists, hikers and other outdoors people pursue their interests on the wide variety of wildlife lands and waters managed by MassWildlife. Healthy and abundant wildlife populations provide Bay State sportsmen and women with a variety of fishing and hunting opportunities.
Regulating Wildlife Possession & Use
MassWildlife regulates the taking and possession of all fish and wildlife for the benefit of both people and wildlife. MassWildlife is also the permitting authority for collecting, maintaining or propagating fish and wildlife species, and regulating the possession of exotic wild animals. Environmental Police Officers from MassWildlife's sister agency, the Division of Law Enforcement, protect Massachusetts' wildlife by ensuring that fish and wildlife regulations and other environmental laws are obeyed.
Supporting Wildlife Research & Management
Wildlife research assists biologists in determining how to best manage wildlife populations and their habitats. There are research grants for the study of rare species and habitats available from MassWildlife's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Programs. MassWildlife has a history of research partnerships with universities and other institutions which have resulted in important work on both individual wildlife species as well as rare and unique habitats, allowing us to evaluate and implement beneficial planting, cutting and burning practices on MassWildlife and other conservation lands. Our biologists and ecologists also review the potential impacts of development on fisheries, aquatic systems and rare species habitats to prevent or minimize damage to these irreplaceable resources.
Spreading the Wildlife Message
To promote the wise use and enjoyment of the state's wildlife resources, MassWildlife offers information and education services to teachers, sportsmen, youth group leaders, school children, town board members, conservation and civic organizations, the news media and many other people interested in wildlife. Publications such as Massachusetts Wildlife magazine the MassWildlife Newsletter and other documents are also available to wildlife enthusiasts in either electronic or hard copy formats.