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News Linking landscapes for Massachusetts wildlife

An innovative website for citizen science.
5/30/2018
  • Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Truck driving past a moose crossing sign.

Just under 7 million people share roughly 7 million acres of land and water with wildlife in Massachusetts. Roadways crisscross much of the landscape, impacting both people and wildlife. The most obvious impacts are vehicle collisions. Less obvious—but perhaps more influential to wildlife populations—is habitat fragmentation and degradation caused by roads.

MassWildlife and MassDOT have partnered since 2008 to provide safe passage for both wildlife and people, and to address the conservation needs of vulnerable species listed under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. This partnership helps incorporate the needs of fish, wildlife, and plants that might have been ignored otherwise during the planning process and maintenance of roadways.

The partnership also has a website where you can report animals you see on the road. If you see roadkill, or a turtle or amphibian crossing the road, please consider visiting linkinglandscapes.info  to submit information. To submit your findings, click the major project that best fits what you see: reducing turtle roadkill, mapping amphibian crossings, or mapping wildlife roadkill. Fill out the short survey, with detailed location information. There is a Google Map at the bottom of the survey that can be zoomed in and panned to a specific location. The information provided on the website helps MassWildlife and MassDOT determine priority areas to mitigate wildlife-human interactions and how best to manage them.

Another way you can help wildlife on the road is to be an alert driver!

  • If you see a turtle crossing a road—and if it’s safe to assist—move the turtle in the direction it’s going. Don’t put it where you think it should go.
  • Slow down if you see a moose or deer on the side of the road or crossing the road. If the animal is crossing the road, don’t swerve around it. Wait patiently for it to cross.

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.

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