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Citizen science: Wildlife observation

Many people enjoy observing wildlife. Here are some opportunities for you to help MassWildlife collect valuable wildlife data.

Get involved in wildlife conservation

Bird watchers
Archery Deer Hunting Season Log

Bowhunters in Massachusetts keep a daily log of their hunting activities and observations of wildlife during the archery deer season (Oct. 7 – Nov. 30, 2019 in WMZs 10-14 and Oct. 21 – Nov. 30 in WMZs 1-9). Because archery hunters are usually very stealthy and camouflaged, they are uniquely suited to track valuable observations of wildlife including deer, wild turkey, black bear, and other species not commonly observed. 

Game Bird Hunting Log

Game bird hunters in Massachusetts keep a daily log of their hunting activities and observations of game birds while hunting bobwhite quail, pheasant, woodcock, and grouse (Oct. 19 – Nov. 30, 2019). These observations will provide MassWildlife biologists with information on game bird populations across the state and allow them to evaluate hunter effort of various upland game bird species. MassWildlife seeks to maintain healthy game bird populations while ensuring quality hunting experiences for both wild and stocked birds across the Commonwealth.

Linking Landscapes

MassWildlife and the Department of Transportation launched this volunteer-based monitoring program where citizens can report wildlife roadkill, as well as large migrations of pond-breeding amphibians across roadways.

Spring Wild Turkey Brood Survey

MassWildlife conducts the Annual Brood Survey each year from June 1 through August 31 to estimate turkey numbers, productivity, and reproductive success.

Vernal Pool and Rare Species Information System

Submit rare species observation reports and vernal pool certification forms to MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program electronically. 

Report Bat Colonies

Due to recent catastrophic mortalities of bats from White Nose Syndrome (WNS), MassWildlife would like reports of summer bat colony locations to see how many have survived after the onset of WNS. If there is a colony of 10 or more bats on your property, please complete this survey. Include the address, location, type of structure (tree, building, attic, barn, shed, or other outbuilding), roughly how many bats are in the colony, and approximately how long the bats have been there.
(Please note that this survey is for reporting purposes and surveys will not receive a response.)

Build a Bat House

One of the best ways you can support bat conservation is to put up an artificial roost, like a bat house. Since bat populations have decreased significantly, bat houses can be very useful in providing secure roost sites for bats. Bats provide a number of benefits to humans and the environment, and they need your help!