Massachusetts is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Some species have their most stable populations here, and some are relatively common. Other species are unique to Massachusetts and occur naturally in the state. There are 169 species of animals and 258 species of plants that are protected under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. These 427 native species are listed as Endangered, Threatened, or of Special Concern and are tracked in our database. 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.
The official list of Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern species as defined in Section 10.60 of Chapter 321 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations. The MESA List is prepared under the authority of the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA). Under this act (MGL c. 131A and its implementing regulations (321 CMR 10.00)), MESA-listed species are protected from "take".
Summary of the MESA list
|Taxonomic Group||Endangered||Threatened||Special Concern||Totals|
(7 FE, 1 FT)
(including 5 sea turtles)
(4 FE, 1 FT)
(1 FE, 1 FT)
(2 FE, 2 FT)
(2 FE, 1 FT)
(17 FE, 6 FT)
(26 FE or FT)
FE = species listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act as Federally Endangered as of February 27, 2012.
FT = species listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act as Federally Threatened as of April 2, 2015.