Although Massachusetts is a small state, it is extremely varied. From the beaches and salt marshes of Cape Cod, to the forests and ridgetops of the Taconic Mountains, the Commonwealth supports a remarkable diversity of plant and animal species and natural ecosystems. These ecosystems serve critical ecological and societal functions by purifying water, cleaning the air, providing a wide range of food and forest products, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.
At the same time, native species and ecosystems across the Commonwealth face unprecedented threats. As the third most densely populated state in the nation, development continues to eliminate and fragment important habitats. Traffic volume has increased over time causing a rise in wildlife mortality, and invasive species continue to displace native plants and animals. Meanwhile, the emerging effects of climate change threaten complete disruption of the natural systems our native species depend on. In light of these threats, there is a critical need to protect the state’s biological diversity and ensure that ecosystems across Massachusetts remain viable.
BioMap2 provides a framework for protection and stewardship of those lands and waters that are most important for conserving the diversity of native plants and animals in Massachusetts. It was created to identify critically important species habitats and intact ecosystems across the state that, if protected, will enhance ecological resilience to climate change and other threats.