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More than 400 plants and animals are recognized as rare in Massachusetts. MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) focuses on the conservation of rare native plants, vertebrates, and invertebrates that are officially listed as Endangered, Threatened, or of Special Concern under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act.
Worthy of protection just because they exist, rare species are valuable indicators of intact, complex, functioning natural communities. Healthy and productive natural communities require biodiversity – a wide array of plants, animals, fungi, and microbes. Yet, biodiversity is threatened by human impacts on the land, such as habitat loss and degradation. By protecting rare species and their habitats, the Commonwealth’s rich biodiversity is also secured.
Check out our rare species success stories.
Here's how you can help:
If you have information on the location of a rare species or vernal pool and would like to help NHESP keep its database current, submit your observations through Vernal Pool and Rare Species (VPRS) Information System.
Contributions can be made directly by sending a check payable to the “Commonwealth of MA: NHESP” to:
Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife
1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581
All donations go into the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Fund, a critical source for the annual budget of NHESP. Approximately 20,000 tax-filers support the Program each year.
Remember to let your tax preparer know that you want to donate to the Endangered Wildlife Conservation Fund. You can donate even if you are not owed a refund.
Look for line 33A on your state income tax form to contribute.
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