February 6th, 2012 by

By Michelle Werts

In 1788 on this date, Massachusetts became our sixth “state” — it’s technically one of four commonwealths in the United States. Despite being one of America’s smallest states by land area, Massachusetts still boasts 11 national wildlife refuges, whose habitats include wetlands, forests, marshes, bogs and savannas. So much diversity in such a small place!

Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts

Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts. Credit: James Weliver/USFWS

A Savannah sparrow at the Nantucket National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts

A Savannah sparrow at the Nantucket National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts. Credit: Amanda Boyd/USFWS

Coastal wetlands at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts

Coastal wetlands at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts. Credit: Kelly Fike/USFWS