Vernal Pool & Rare Species (VPRS) Information System Seminar
You don’t have to be a conservation expert to help at-risk creatures. In Massachusetts alone there are 215 endangered plant and animal species regulated by the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA). State conservation biologists rely heavily on citizen volunteers to report sightings of rare species–and they need your help!
The Vernal Pool & Rare Species (VPRS) information system is an online reporting system to report rare species observations and vernal pool certification forms. VPRS allows certified volunteers to report animal, plant, and vernal pool observations and relay important survey information to the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (NHESP).The NHESP is the state agency responsible for the conservation and protection of hundreds of species that are not hunted, fished, trapped, or commercially harvested in the state, as well as the protection of the natural communities that make up their habitats.
Reporting data collected by NHESP though the VPRS system is used to develop maps of locations around the state where rare species occur. These maps inform land use decisions at the municipal and state level and, under some circumstances, prohibit the development or conversion of land for the purpose of wildlife conservation.
To learn how to report sightings of rare and endangered wildlife in Westport and elsewhere in Massachusetts, please join Westport Land Conservation Trust on Sunday, February 23rd at noon at Westport Town Farm (830 Drift Road) for a one hour seminar on how to use the VPRS reporting system. All participants will be provided the opportunity to become certified VPRS reporters. This seminar is limited to ten participants and advance registration is required. To register, please email Brendan@WestportLandTrust.org.