Wildlife Research & Conservation

Diamondback Terrapin hatchling being held in a researcher's hand at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
Diamondback Terrapin hatchling

Support Our Work

Mass Audubon's Conservation Science teams work at our wildlife sanctuaries and beyond to ensure that the nature of Massachusetts continues to thrive.

By scientifically monitoring Massachusetts wildlife, Mass Audubon informs important conservation decisions and launches targeted initiatives to help at-risk species. 

Our approach involves:

  • Creating and enhancing habitat on our properties.
  • Supporting native plants and wildlife across the state through active land management, species monitoring, and field research.
  • Educating and engaging people in learning more about native wildlife through public programs and community science projects.


Winter Wren in Hamilton © Davey Walters
Winter Wren © Davey Walters

We're working to ensure a future for migratory and breeding bird species in Massachusetts by examining past data and researching present trends. Learn more >

Piping Plover adult on nest with chick © Pat Ulrich
Piping Plovers © Pat Ulrich

Mass Audubon's Coastal Waterbird Program is one of the most effective entities working to protect coastal birds and barrier beaches in North America. Learn more > 

Odonate Monitoring Project

Odonate Monitoring Project

Colorful dragonfly © Bernard Creswick
© Bernard Creswick

Dragonflies and damselflies are beautiful, easy to spot, and fascinating. They're also important indicators to the health of aquatic habitats at our wildlife sanctuaries. Learn more >

Sea Turtle Rescue

Sea Turtle Rescue

Mass Audubon staff member examining a sea turtle © Esther Horvath
Mass Audubon staff member examining a sea turtle © Esther Horvath

Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary works year-round to protect and help sea turtles stranded across the shores of Cape Cod. Learn more >

Headstarting Spadefoot Toads

Headstarting Spadefoot Toads

Eastern Spadefoot Toads were once widespread in coastal Massachusetts—now they're rarely seen. We're working to re-establish healthy populations in protected locations. Learn more >

Diamondback Terrapins

Diamondback Terrapin Nesting

Emerging Diamondback Terrapin hatchling emerging from egg © Ron Kielb
Diamondback Terrapin © Ron Kielb

Our Cape Cod staff tracks and actively protects terrapin nests, then safely releases the hatchlings each fall. Learn more >