Maine Field Office - Ecological Services
Northeast Region
Map of the state of Maine, pictures of Scarborough Marsh (Credit: USFWS), Piping plover (Credit: USFWS), Canada lynx (Credit: USFWS), and sketch of New England and Eastern cottontail rabbits by Mark McCollough, USFWS.

All images credit USFWS; sketch of New England and Eastern cottontail rabbits credit Mark McCollough, USFWS

Welcome to the Maine Field Office Web site

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

Plan finalized for Canada lynx affected by state trapping programs

Canada lynx

November 4, 2014

With measures in place to minimize and offset the effects to federally protected Canada lynx, the Service has permitted the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for incidental captures of the threatened species associated with state-regulated trapping programs. Maine is the first state to have an incidental take plan for Canada lynx. The plan outlines measures to minimize take and injury, such as using certain trap sets, and to offset take by providing lynx habitat. 

News release (web) (PDF)

Agencies release revised plan, assessment for protecting Canada lynx affected by Maine trapping program

Maine to manage at least 4,785 acres for Canada lynx

Canada lynx

August 5, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is one step closer to making a decision on permitting Maine's state-regulated trapping programs for effects to the federally protected Canada lynx. The Service has released revised versions of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife's incidental take plan and a corresponding draft environmental assessment of the plan for public review and comment through September 5, 2014.

The agencies previously released draft versions of these documents for public comment in November 2011, followed by three highly attended public information sessions. The Service received about 285 unique letters, 129 comment cards from public information sessions and 6,100 form letters commenting on issues from outreach and monitoring measures to lynx handling procedures and enforcement.

News release (PDF and web)

Proposal would help southern Maine landowners conserve rare rabbit

New England cottontail

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

Questions and answers (PDF)
More on the New England cottontail

Service estimates costs for conservation of lynx in critical habitat

Canada lynx

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.


News Archive


Last updated: November 4, 2014
Maine Field Office
Northeast Region Ecological Services Home
Northeast Region Home

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Home Page | Department of the Interior  |  | About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  | Accessibility  | Privacy  | Notices  | Disclaimer| FOIA