The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) is responsible for the conservation - including restoration, protection and management - of fish and wildlife resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the public. In part through its Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, MassWildlife also ensures the protection of the state's wide range of native biological diversity.
Despite the fact that Massachusetts is the third most-densely human populated state in the country, more than 650 species of wild mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and freshwater fish spend all or part of their lives in Massachusetts. These creatures, together with more than 2,500 species of plants, trees, and shrubs, plus thousands of species of insects, mollusks, and other invertebrates, constitute the biological wealth and diversity of the Bay State.
MassWildlife holds and manages an extraordinarily diverse system of wildlife management areas and sanctuaries designed to forever ensure the survival, health, and viability of all our native wildlife communities as well as secure recreation and enjoyment for its citizens and visitors. With 6 million people on 5 million acres, space for wildlife and people is at a premium, and, as of July 2008, over 170,000 acres of protected land is in the care and control of MassWildlife.
It is MassWildlife's role to balance the needs of wildlife with the needs of people, ensuring a quality environment for the benefit of all.