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Our Ecology


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Cape Ann is a mosaic of distinct natural communities ranging from tidal salt marsh to dry, fire-prone ridge top pitch pine forest.

These varying habitats support sixteen animal and twelve plant species identified by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program as Endangered, Threatened or of Special Concern.

The Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) is part of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. The overall goal of the Program is the protection of the state's wide range of native biological diversity. The Program's highest priority is protecting the 176 species of animals and 256 species of native plants that are officially listed as Endangered, Threatened or of Special Concern in Massachusetts.

NHESP gathers and disseminates information on species and natural communities (particular assemblages of species) and makes this available through its own web site and through the Commonwealth's Geographic Information System office, MassGIS.

Rare species Occurrences by Town

Information About Vernal Pools

Natural Communities Fact Sheets

Endangered Species List and Fact Sheets

Various Natural Heritage Geographic Information Systems resources, including an online data viewer