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Featured habitat projects and news

MassWildlife’s Habitat Programs are active in all areas of the Commonwealth. Catch a glimpse of that work through the following featured projects.

Featured habitat projects


News from MassWildlife's Habitat Programs

Publications, workshops, news stories and more.

Building local

MassWildlife's Field Headquarters building in Westborough incorporates wood products harvested from Massachusetts Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Timber harvests were conducted on WMAs to benefit wildlife that relies on young forest habitats. The red oak and cherry wood in the building was cut and processed by local companies. An article describing this process, written by MassWildlife's Habitat Biologist Rebecca DiGirolomo, appears in the Spring 2015 issue of Northern Woodlands Magazine and in the 2014 Guide to Hunting, Freshwater Fishing, and Trapping.


The Southeast Region Conservation Forum on Wildlife Habitat Management (February 2015)

Wildlands firefighters, natural resource managers, land trusts, municipal conservation agents and other conservation-minded people in southeastern Massachusetts attended the 2nd annual Forum in Mashpee and Buzzards Bay. Participants learned how prescribed fire, timber harvest, and other habitat management activities benefit wildlife of all kinds, including some species that have been dwindling in numbers. This forum further developed the Regional Conservation Partnership by building on the conservation initiatives prioritized by the 1st Forum held in 2014.

One day of the Forum focused on Fire Science and Land Management and included field trips to properties where various habitat management activities such as prescribed burning and tree harvest activities have been conducted. The second day consisted of presentations and breakout sessions on restoration projects and exploring partnerships in the Pine Barrens ecoregion.

The Forum was sponsored by MassWildlife, the North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange, Southeastern Pine Barrens Alliance, MassAudubon, and the Forest Guild Northeast Region.

Habitat Program on the Radio:
  • Habitat saving our rare habitats
    Following the retreat of the last glacier, Sand Plain Grasslands and Pine Barrens were found from Maine to Southern New Jersey. Although Southeastern Massachusetts has the second largest region of Pine Barrens remaining in the world, the state has lost 60 to 70 percent of its original pine barrens.  And it’s estimated that 80 percent of the world’s remaining Sand Plain Grasslands are on the Islands of Nantucket, Tuckernuck, and Martha’s Vineyard. (February 2015,  WCAI Radio)
  • A safe place for wildlife to thrive
    At the Frances A. Crane Wildlife Management Area, 136 acres are being reclaimed as grassland and 16 acres as oak savanna. The grassland is an important habitat for many species, including the grasshopper sparrow and the upland sandpiper. Chris Buelow, Restoration Ecologist with Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, and Jason Zimmer, Southeast District Supervisor for Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, take us on a tour of the wildlife area. (July 2014, WCAI Radio)


Montague Plains research

A paper shows bird response to recent Wildlife Habitat Management work completed at Montague Plains WMA.

Demographic response of a shrubland bird to habitat creation, succession, and disturbance in a dynamic landscape
Michael E. Akresh, David I. King, Robert T. Brooks
Published 2014