Rare Species & Biodiversity:  A Natural Heritage Worth Saving

More than 425 plants and animals are recognized as rare in Massachusetts, from the beautiful Plymouth Gentian of Coastal Plain ponds on Cape Cod, to Blanding’s Turtles found only in the eastern half of the state, to the Bald Eagles of the Quabbin, the Midland Clubtail dragonfly of the Connecticut River, and the Nodding Pogonia orchid of the Berkshires. Worthy of protection just because they exist, these rare species are even more valuable as indicators of intact, complex, functioning ecosystems and natural communities. Biodiversity is the complete array of plants, animals, fungi, microbes – all of life taken together – on which we all depend. Yet, this biodiversity is threatened by human impacts on the land. 

Saving our Natural Heritage Brochure  pdf format of Saving our Natural Heritage Brochure

Rare Species Success Stories

How You Can Help

Send a donation directly.

Contributions can also be made directly by sending a check payable to the “Commonwealth of MA: NHESP” to:

Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program
MA Division of Fisheries & Wildlife

1 Rabbit Hill Road
Westborough, MA 01581

Contribute on your state tax form.

Voluntary donations are a major source of funding for NHESP. All donations go into the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Fund, a critical source for the annual budget of NHESP. About 20,000 tax-filers support the Program each year. If you have made a contribution in this manner, thank you for supporting the Program and its conservation efforts! 

Remember to let your tax preparer know that you want to donate to the Endangered Wildlife Conservation Fund.  You can donate even if you are not owed a refund!

Look for this line on your state income tax form and please contribute!

Look for line 32a. Endangered Wildlife Conservation on your tax form.


Endangered Species Conservation in Massachusetts depends on you!


Protecting the rare species of Massachusetts and their habitats – the ponds, mountains, and forests where they live – as well as exemplary natural communities, helps ensure the protection of the biodiversity of the Commonwealth.