- MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program
- Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Media Contact for Public hearing to address changes of status on protected species scheduled for August
Marion Larson, MassWildlife
The Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA) currently protects 427 species of animals and plants in the state. On August 28, 2019, the Fisheries and Wildlife Board is holding a public hearing to gather feedback about proposed changes to the MESA list. Written or oral comment will be accepted at the public hearing. The hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. at MassWildlife’s Field Headquarters (1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA). The Board will accept written comment on the proposal at any time prior to the public hearing and for two weeks following the hearing. Send written comments to: Chairman, Fisheries and Wildlife Board, c/o Director of MassWildlife, MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581. Comments may also be sent by email to Susan.Sacco@mass.gov to the attention of the Fisheries and Wildlife Board.
MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) is responsible for conserving and protecting the most vulnerable species in Massachusetts and the habitats upon which they depend. At least once every 5 years, NHESP biologists review the MESA list. There are 3 listing categories for animals and plants under MESA: Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern. These species are either at risk—or may become at risk—of extinction. Rarity in the state, population trend, and overall threat are the main criteria used to determine extinction risk.
After a careful review of the best scientific evidence available, MassWildlife recommends a status change for 17 species. The status of rare species can change due to a number of factors including:
- our knowledge about the species’ status in Massachusetts
- changes in populations
- our understanding of their habitat requirements