Report rare species & vernal pool observations

Help us by reporting observations of state-listed species, natural communities, and other species of conservation concern.

MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program

The Details   of Report rare species & vernal pool observations

What you need   for Report rare species & vernal pool observations

We begin all our conservation efforts with actual observations that come from a variety of sources. There are currently over 21,000 records in the database.

Reporting observations is critical for the continued success of our conservation efforts. We depend on you to help us maintain the highest quality of data in our database.    

To report observations of rare species and vernal pools, please be sure you have the following:

  • directions to the location
  • date(s) of observation(s) or visit(s) to the location
  • additional documentation, such as photographs, digital images, audio or video recordings, field forms, etc.
  • if you are filing our a paper form you will also need a map with the location of the observation marked as precisely as possible

Report using the Heritage Hub!

The Heritage Hub is the online reporting and filing system for the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program.

Some of what to expect in the Heritage Hub: 

  • a personal dashboard

  • observation reporting of species, vernal pools, and natural communities 

  • ability to bulk upload species observations 

  • copy and print report capabilities  

How to report   Report rare species & vernal pool observations

Report rare species and vernal pools online using MassWildlife's Heritage Hub

Fill out, sign, and mail a Animal Observation Form, Plant Observation Form or Guidelines for the Certification of Vernal Pool Habitat Form with appropriate map(s), photographs, and any additional documentation.

Topographic maps can be printed from websites, such as Street maps and aerial images can be accessed through websites, such as Google Maps.

Next steps   for Report rare species & vernal pool observations

Biologist review

Our biologists will review all observation forms. Once reviewed, you will be sent a formal notification regarding the status of your submission. You might be contacted to provide additional information, if necessary.

Observations that are accepted will be entered into the our database. Our online Rare Species Viewer and the Certified Vernal Pool datalayer (on MassGIS) will be updated at regular intervals as new data is accepted.

More info   for Report rare species & vernal pool observations

It is important that each report is thorough and well documented. Our biologists review every record submitted for possible inclusion in the database. Each accepted record builds on the previous records. This provides an overview of the densities and distributions of various species across the state. This information can give us clues into habitat use, limiting features on the landscape, and changes in historic ranges. Observations submitted are used for:

  • biological and field surveys and research
  • data management
  • endangered species regulation
  • species recovery and ecological restoration of key habitats
  • land protection

PLEASE NOTE:  In making a NHESP Species Observation Form available for use by the public, we do not authorize or condone entry onto private property without the owner's knowledge and permission. The unlawful trespass onto private property may subject a trespasser to the criminal or civil sanctions available under the law.

For these reasons, we strongly recommend that the permission of the landowner be obtained prior to entering private property to collect information for this form. It is the sole responsibility of each person collecting information for this form to ensure that their activities comply with the law.

Downloads   for Report rare species & vernal pool observations

Contact   for Report rare species & vernal pool observations

Help Us Improve  with your feedback

Please do not include personal or contact information.