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What are Priority Habitats and Estimated Habitats in the Natural Heritage Atlas and what are they used for?

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What are Priority Habitats and Estimated Habitats in the Natural Heritage Atlas and what are they used for?

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Priority Habitat is based on the geographical extent of habitat for all state-listed rare species, both plants and animals. Habitat alteration within Priority Habitats may result in a take of a state-listed species, and is subject to regulatory review by the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (NHESP). Priority Habitat maps are used for determining whether or not a proposed project must be reviewed by the NHESP for MESA compliance. View our MESA Project Review Process page for more information about MESA filing requirements. Please note that if your project results in greater than two acres of disturbance of Priority Habitat and results in a “take” of a state-listed species, your project may be subject to MEPA (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act) review. Estimated Habitats are a sub-set of Priority Habitats that are based on the geographical extent of habitat of state-listed rare wildlife (no plants). State-listed wildlife species that use wetland habitats are protected u

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