Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge

Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge, located on Cape Cod Massachusetts, is one of eight refuges that comprise the Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Numerous outdoor recreational activities bring visitors to Mashpee such as hunting, hiking, photography, and wildlife watching.

Visit Us

National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge is a unique piece of coastal New England landscape. It is the second largest accessible open space on Cape Cod; the first being the National Seashore. Explore through Falmouth and Mashpee trails and observe various species of mammals, birds, reptiles, invertebrates, amphibians, and insects.

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      The 5,871-acre refuge is intersected by Waquoit Bay in the towns of Falmouth and Mashpee. This refuge has various habitats to explore and discover like-cedar swamps and cranberry bogs. The refuge has five of the six wildlife-dependent recreational uses of the Refuge System: hunting, interpretation, education, photography and wildlife watching.

      What We Do

      Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It drives everything on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters managed within the Refuge System, from the purposes for which a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
      A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

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      is established to the recreational activities offered to the resource management tools used. Using conservation best practices, the Refuge System manages Service lands and waters to help ensure the survival of native wildlife species.

      Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge uses an array of management tools to ensure the conservation of species and habitats and to keep visitors educated, protected, and most importantly appreciating nature. Fire management and comprehensive conservation planning to recreation management and everything in between.

      Our Species

      Through unique partnerships, the refuge protects and enhances biological diversity, restores native habitats, protects water quality and supports species of conservation concern. This protection enhances habitats to aid species populations, such as migratory birds, raptors, waterfowl and wading birds, songbirds, New England cottontail, white-tailed deer, spotted turtle, diamondback terrapin, box turtle, and many aquatic species, such as American eel, striped bass, and various mollusk and crustacean species.

      The New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) is a medium-large sized cottontail rabbit that may reach 1,000 grams (2.2 pounds) in weight. Sometimes called the gray rabbit, brush rabbit, wood hare or cooney, it can usually be distinguished from the sympatric eastern cottontail and...

      FWS Focus

      Projects and Research

      Most research, projects, and initiatives on the refuges comprising the Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge Complex examine management of avian resources, various public uses, rare, threatened, or endangered species and habitats, and invasive species invasive species
      An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

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      control.