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News Draft Priority Habitat Map of rare species available for public comment

MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program is accepting public comments on its next edition of the Natural Heritage Atlas. The public can comment on draft priority habitat maps for rare, state-listed plants and animals through 7/3.
5/03/2021
  • Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
  • MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program

Media Contact for Draft Priority Habitat Map of rare species available for public comment

Marion Larson, MassWildlife

Priority habitat map

MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) is now in the process of accepting public comments on its draft 15th edition of the Natural Heritage Atlas. The Natural Heritage Atlas contains Priority Habitat maps for all-state listed rare plants and animals. These maps are primarily used for determining whether or not a proposed project must be reviewed by NHESP for compliance with the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA). 

Beginning May 3 through July 3, the public has the opportunity to review the new proposed version of the updated Priority Habitat map and submit comments. For instructions on how to provide feedback, please visit mass.gov/nhesp/mapcomment

MassWildlife re-evaluates the map every 4 years. Updates are generally due to the following factors:  

  • changes to the MESA species list and observation occurrences 

  • species are added or removed from the list 

  • new observations are accepted into our database 

  • areas mapped from old observations (greater than 25 years) are removed 

  • latest research about habitat utilization 

  • evaluation of regulatory outcomes 

  • improved aerial photographs and new mapping tools 

NHESP is specifically requesting public comment on the status of areas proposed for delineation or removal as Priority Habitat regarding the physical or biological features of the habitat, or the current scope of existing development in the area.  

NHESP is grateful for all public feedback provided to help us protect the Commonwealth’s endangered species. Click here to learn more about the work NHESP is doing to conserve rare species and their habitats throughout the Commonwealth.  

Media Contact for Draft Priority Habitat Map of rare species available for public comment

Division of Fisheries and Wildlife 

MassWildlife is responsible for the conservation of freshwater fish and wildlife in the Commonwealth, including endangered plants and animals. MassWildlife restores, protects, and manages land for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy.

MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program 

The Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program is responsible for the conservation and protection of hundreds of species that are not hunted, fished, trapped, or commercially harvested in the state, as well as the protection of the natural communities that make up their habitats.
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