BioMap2: Conserving Biodiversity in a Changing World

A framework for protection and stewardship of lands and waters that are most important for conserving biological diversity in Massachusetts.

BioMap2 helps guide strategic biodiversity conservation by focusing land protection and stewardship efforts on the areas most critical to rare and other native species and their habitats, exemplary natural communities, and a diversity of ecosystems.

Summary report and interactive map

BioMap2 "Core Habitats" and "Critical Natural Landscapes" are viewable through an interactive map. They overlap in many locations. Together, they identify 2.1 million acres that are key to the protection of our state's biodiversity.

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Core Habitat

Core Habitat identifies key areas to ensure the long-term persistence of species of conservation concern, exemplary natural communities, and intact ecosystems across the Commonwealth.

The specific subcomponents of Core Habitat are:

  • Species of Conservation Concern - includes native species listed under the state Endangered Species Act or listed in the State Wildlife Action Plan
  • Priority Natural Communities- includes natural communities with limited distribution and the best examples documented of more common types of communities
  • Aquatic Core- identifies core habitat for fish and other Species of Conservation Concern
  • Forest Core - identifies the best examples of large, intact forests that are least impacted by roads and development, providing critical "forest interior" habitat for numerous woodland species
  • Wetland Core - identifies the most intact wetlands within less developed landscapes
  • Vernal Pool Core - identifies the highest quality most interconnected clusters of Potential Vernal Pools and the habitat between them

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Critical Natural Landscape

Critical Natural Landscape identifies larger landscape areas that are better able to support ecological processes, disturbances, and wide-ranging species.

The specific subcomponents of Critical Natural Landscape are:

  • Foraging Habitat for Tern Species - identifies the offshore habitat used by MESA-listed Roseate, Arctic, Common, and Least Terns when foraging for food (see Species of Conservation Concern)
  • Landscape Blocks - are large areas of high quality intact and predominately natural vegetation
  • Upland Buffers of Wetland Core - identifies upland areas adjacent to all Wetland Cores
  • Upland Buffers of Aquatic Core - identifies upland areas adjacent to all Aquatic Cores
  • Upland Habitat to Support Coastal Adaptation - identifies upland areas adjacent to existing salt marshes where these habitats might move to as sea levels rise

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