Wildlife is generally refered to as any living organism, including non-domesticated plants. Wildlife lives in a free condition, providing for its own food, shelter and other needs in environments that provide suitable habitat. Wildlife refers to species that are not domesticated, and include (but is not limited to) wild orchids, spiders, birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians and mammals.

Topics covered in this section of the Envirothon Guide include:
habitat, biodiversity, food chains and webs, nutrient exchange, population dynamics, wildlife management, carrying capacity, rare and endangered species, laws and regulations, wildlife diseases, wildlife resources, and legislation.

Hone your Wildlife Skills with Wildlife Resource Professionals:
Pam Landry, MassWildlife, Education Coordinator and/or Susan Ingalls, MassWildlife, Wildlife Technician is available to meet with teams, as their schedule permits, to help you obtain the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to master the wildlife portion of the Envirothon. Please contact Pam (pam.landry@state.ma.us) or Susan (susan.ingalls@state.ma.us) directly if you wish to schedule a time to focus on wildlife!


Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

About Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife):
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) is responsible for the conservation - including restoration, protection and management - of fish and wildlife resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the public.

The Division works to balance the needs of people and wildlife today so wildlife will be available for everyone's enjoyment today and for future generations.

MassWildlife was founded as a state fisheries commission in 1866 in response to citizen concerns about the loss of Atlantic salmon to dams and pollution. The continuing development of the agency from that time until the present reflects the will of the citizens of Massachusetts to protect and restore our natural resources.

The conservation - including protection, restoration, and management - of Massachusetts' fauna and flora is the statutory responsibility of MassWildlife. Specifically, MassWildlife's charge is the stewardship of all wild amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and freshwater and diadromous fishes in the state, as well as endangered, threatened, and special concern species, including native wild plants and invertebrates. This responsibility is established and articulated in the Constitution and General Laws of Massachusetts.

As the base of scientific knowledge regarding the interdependence of all environmental factors has grown, coupled with progressive, pragmatic leadership, MassWildlife's mission has evolved to include all aspects of the environment. MassWildlife is committed to an evolving stewardship philosophy and to continued leadership in conservation and management of the environment.

Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR): Regulations relating to Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife

Quick Reference Guide to Hunting, Fishing and Trapping (968 KB)-- This is an external link to the Guide's publisher. A handy 5-page color publication containing only the hunting, fishing and trapping seasons and bag limits, Sportfish Awards information, Sunrise-Sunset table and contact information for the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Environmental Police.

2013-14 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations in Massachusetts - This publication contains the hunting seasons and bag limits for migratory birds (ducks, geese, woodcock and other birds). These regulations are set annually by the Fisheries and Wildlife Board in late August.

Wildlife Fact Sheets Library- A PDF library of the Living with Wildlife series fact sheets and articles about wildlife that answer the most inquiries by homeowners and community officials.

Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program- NHESP is responsible for the conservation and protection of hundreds of species that are not hunted, fished, trapped, or commercially harvested in the state. The Program's highest priority is protecting the 176 species of vertebrate and invertebrate animals and 259 species of native plants that are officially listed as Endangered, Threatened or of Special Concern in Massachusetts.

State List of Mammals

State List of Reptiles and Amphibians

Snakes of Massachusetts Identification Guide

Wildlife Diseases

MassWildlife Publications

Using Field Guides

How to identify birds & & Tracking: narrowing the field of identification

North American Envirothon Curriculum Guidelines






Wildlife in Massachusetts Pam Landry's presentation from the Fall 2011 workshop at UMass Amherst. Download the presentation here.

Climate Change and Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife:
Volume I Introduction and Background http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dfg/dfw/habitat/cwcs/climate-change-intro.pdf

Volume II Habitat and Species Vulnerability

Volume III Habitat Management

Climate Change Wildlife and Wildlands Toolkit for Formal and Nonformal Educators

A Toolkit to aid educators in teaching how climate change is affecting our nation’s wildlife and public lands, and how everyone can become a ‘climate steward’ http://www.globalchange.gov/resources/educators/toolkit.

Field Guide to New England
National Audubon Society Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. New York, 1998 Peterson's Guides
to mammals, birds, freshwater fish, reptiles & amphibians, and insects

Tracking and the Art of Seeing, How to Read Animal Tracks and Signs
Paul Rezendes, Camden House Publishing, Inc. 1992

New England Wildlife: Habitat, Natural History and Distribution
Richard M.
DeGraaf & Mariko Yamasaki, University Press of NE, Hanover, NH 2001

A Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of MA
Blair Nikula, Jennifer L. Loose and Matthew Burne 2003

Massachusetts Wildlife Magazine
A quarterly publication of various natural resource topics within the Commonwealth.
Cost $6.00/yr or $10.00/2 years. Back issues on desired topics can be obtained for $3.00.
Contact MassWildlife at

Project WILD & Aquatic WILD
Interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education program emphasizing terrestrial and aquatic wildlife and ecosystems.Activity guide is available through a six-eight hour teacher training workshop.
Contact Project WILD Coordinator, MassWildlife at

Information pertaining to the wildlife section will be posted here.
For more information please e-mail Pam Landry