Rare Species

New England Cottontail Rabbit amongst greeneryCape Cod has the highest number, and one of the highest densities of state-listed rare plant and animal species within Massachusetts.

Within Cape Cod, the greatest number of state-listed rare species can be found at Joint Base Cape Cod. 41 state-listed (i.e., endangered (E), threatened (T), and special concern (SC)) and 6 species on the unofficial watch-list (WL) have been observed on Camp Edwards.

Along with the 41 state listed species there is one candidate for federal listing - the New England cottontail ( Sylvilagus transitionalis ) that resides on Camp Edwards. As it is not yet federally listed, no regulatory actions are required. However, further studies of this species and habitat management of its required habitat of early successional scrub oak shrublands and pitch pine scrub oak community are being conducted by the Natural Resource Office.

Eastern Box Turtle sunning himsef on grass These organisms fall into four broad groups: species that require large unfragmented sections of forest, such as the Eastern Box Turtle; those that are shrubland specialists (most of the rare moths); those that occur in wetlands, such as Torrey's beakrush; and those that require grasslands, such as Upland sandpipers and Northern Harriers. Some rare species, such as the Eastern Box Turtle, are found in a variety of habitats.

The Camp Edwards Natural Resource Office staff continues to search for, identify, and map locations of rare species. Reports of this information are supplied to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program annually.

Further information on rare species at JBCC can be found by contacting the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.