Our goal here is to provide you with information about what your U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Ecological Services Maine Field Office
is doing for you and for the fish and wildlife in our area of responsibility, the State of Maine.
Our mission is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants
and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
Maine hosts exceptional biodiversity due to a number of factors, including diverse geographic and geologic features located in a transition zone between boreal and temperate habitats and species assemblages. At 33,315 square miles, the State is nearly as large as the rest of the New England states combined. Maine is over 90 percent forested (17.7 million acres) and is the most extensively forested State in the United States. Over 94 percent of the State's forest lands (16.7 million acres) are privately owned. The largest tracts of undeveloped forestland in the eastern United States are found in the western, northern, and eastern areas of the State. Maine also contains some of the most significant grassland, barrens, and agricultural lands in the Northeast. The State covers a wide range of latitude (320 miles north to south), with natural communities and plants characteristic of southern Appalachia found in the south transitioning to boreal communities in the north and subarctic communities at the highest elevations.
News and Updates
Proposal would help southern Maine landowners conserve rare rabbit
June 30, 2014
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife have drafted a 50-year agreement to restore New England cottontail habitat on private and state-owned lands in Androscoggin, Cumberland, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Sagadahoc, Waldo and York counties in Maine. Under the proposed agreement, MDIFW would work with interested landowners to restore and manage up to 12,000 acres of young forest habitat.
The agreement, called a candidate conservation agreement with assurances, helps landowners voluntarily manage lands for rare species by assuring they will not be subjected to additional land use restrictions if the species is protected under the Endangered Species Act in the future. The New England cottontail has been a candidate for protection under the federal ESA since 2006 and is listed as endangered by the state of Maine. The draft agreement and associated documents are available for review and comment at http://www.fws.gov/newengland/.
Questions and answers (PDF)
More on the New England cottontail
Service estimates costs for conservation of lynx in critical habitat
June 19, 2014
The agency invites review and comment of the draft economic analysis and environmental assessment for the proposed revised designation of critical habitat for the Contiguous U.S. Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the Canada lynx under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service is also reopening the comment period on the September 26, 2013, proposed revised designation of critical habitat for the lynx DPS to allow all interested parties the opportunity to comment simultaneously on the revised proposed rule, the associated DEA, the draft environmental assessment, and the amended required determinations section.
An economic analysis does not estimate the cost of overall conservation of the species. The analysis, as directed by the ESA, considers the economic impact of designating any particular area as critical habitat for the species. Critical habitat is not a reserve or wildlife refuge; these areas are essential for the conservation of the species and in which to focus overall conservation efforts for the species. These costs are usually related to consultation, administrative and project modification costs. Because all proposed critical habitat is occupied by lynx populations an most has been designated as critical habitat since 2009, consultation has already been occurring in these areas and incremental costs are expected to be minimal and administrative.