05 de fevereiro de 2020

We’re Looking Forward to 2020!

Two very exciting items are coming up for MassWildlife in 2020: first, we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act, and second, we are inviting everyone in the MassWildlife community to join us on iNaturalist!

30 Years of MESA
The year 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA). Through the implementation of MESA, MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) conserves and protects the most vulnerable native animal and plant species of Massachusetts and the habitats upon which they depend. Currently, there are more than 430 native plants, vertebrates, and invertebrates that are officially listed as Endangered, Threatened, or of Special Concern.
Many rare species have benefited from the protection afforded under MESA and the work of NHESP over the years, including the restoration and conservation of several notable species such as the peregrine falcon, bald eagle, and northern red-bellied cooter. However, there is still a lot to do and in the face of habitat loss, emerging diseases, invasive species, climate change, and other threats, this work is more important than ever!

NHESP staff are diligently working to recover rare species and their habitats. NHESP’s conservation efforts include targeted restoration and active management of habitats; collection, management, and analysis of statewide biological data; conducting regulatory reviews; and the development of educational programming, publications, and conservation tools to connect residents with nature and help guide state and partner conservation priorities.

The vast majority of NHESP’s work is funded through grants, regulatory review fees, and donations from supportive citizens. Donations to NHESP are received through a voluntary check-off on the state income tax form and direct donations throughout the year. NHESP donations go directly into the Endangered Wildlife Conservation Fund, which can only be used for administering NHESP programs. These donations are critical to ensure the dedicated NHESP staff can continue to perform important conservation work, including field research and surveys, regulatory review, habitat management, land protection, and education. Without such support, NHESP cannot to protect, manage, and restore the Commonwealth’s most imperiled animals and plants and the sensitive communities and habitats on which they depend. In addition to donations, citizens can help by reporting the location of a rare species or vernal pool to help NHESP keep its database current.

Join the celebration! Go to Mass.gov/30MESA throughout the year to learn about MESA and how you can support NHESP.

MassWildlife iNaturalist Launch
In 2020, we’re going to invite the residents of Massachusetts to join us on iNaturalist and learn how to use this wonderful website, app, and database to explore our properties and learn more about the plants and animals of the Commonwealth.

We’ll be publishing an article about iNaturalist in the April issue of our magazine, Massachusetts Wildlife, which reaches approximately 20,000 subscribers. In addition, over 67,000 people get our monthly email newsletter and over 55,000 people follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and we’ll be inviting all of them to join us on iNaturalist, too. We’re participating in the Boston City Nature Challenge in late April by leading walks on a few of our properties, and we’ll be leading iNaturalist walks on other Wildlife Management Areas over the course of the spring, summer, and fall. Check our calendar regularly at Mass.gov/30MESA as we schedule iNaturalist walks and other events.

We’re hoping that many of our subscribers and followers start using iNaturalist to get outside and learn about the natural world, especially on our Wildlife Management Areas and Wildlife Conservation Easements. All this kicks into high gear in April, right when we are all sick of winter and really want spring to come!

Till then, we hope you’re getting outside even in the cold and snow this time of year, finding the tracks of wild turkeys and squirrels, admiring the red berries on winterberry shrubs, and listening to mating calls of owls on quiet nights.

Publicado em 05 de fevereiro de 2020, 03:31 PM por masswildlife masswildlife | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

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