Impact of Ecological Management

Support Ecological Management 

Mass Audubon manages more than 35,000 acres of wildlife habitat across the state, ranging from barrier beaches to open fields to northern hardwood forests. We regularly inventory and monitor our land and implement management actions to ensure that Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries truly are protecting the nature of Massachusetts.

Accomplishments in FY 2016 include, but are not limited to:

  • Worked with partners on Nantucket to prepare our Sesechacha Heathlands Wildlife Sanctuary for management with prescribed fire. Sesechacha is the only example of coastal heathland vegetation on our sanctuary system, a globally rare natural community. Thanks to support from MassWildlife, we will now be able to maintain this community with periodic controlled burns.
  • Completed a comprehensive survey of grassland-nesting birds on our wildlife sanctuaries and developed recommendations for further enhancing grassland management. Staff expanded existing grasslands at Lake Wampanoag, Allens Pond, and Drumlin Farm and optimized mowing routines for the benefit of wildlife.
  • Updated 20 Ecological Management Reports on our wildlife sanctuaries. These plans describe the top natural assets on each property, identify threats and stresses to them, and articulate management actions to alleviate those threats. 
  • Controlled invasive species at dozens of locations on our wildlife sanctuaries. We applied mechanical and chemical methods to reduce Phragmites, Japanese knotweed, brown knapweed, oriental bittersweet, hardy kiwi, and other invasive plants. These efforts are aimed at maintaining and improving habitat for native plants and animals.
  • Continued efforts to map and control perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) in the Great Marsh of northeastern Massachusetts. Our work with this invasive plant, relatively new to Massachusetts, is an example of the Early Detection/Rapid Response approach to invasives management, maximizing the impact of our efforts. The project is reducing pepperweed density and preventing its spread throughout the marsh.


I just want to reiterate how great it was to have you all here together helping us to think about a wildlife habitat action plan. Now we just have to achieve our dreams for Mount Auburn. With your help, I am very confident!

David Barnett, President and CEO, Mount Auburn Cemetery