The Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge contains more than 50 offshore islands and four coastal parcels, totaling more than 8,100 acres. The complex spans more than 250 miles of Maine coastline and includes five national wildlife refuges — Petit Manan, Cross Island, Franklin Island, Seal Island, and Pond Island. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the refuge complex as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
The Service's primary focus at Maine Coastal Islands Refuge is restoring and managing colonies of nesting seabirds. Refuge islands provide habitat for common, Arctic, and endangered roseate terns; Atlantic puffins; razorbills; black guillemots; Leach's storm-petrels; herring, greater black-backed, and laughing gulls; double-crested and great cormorants; and common eiders. Over the last 25 years, the Service has worked to reverse the decline in these birds' populations. As a result, many species have returned to islands where they nested historically.
In addition to seabirds, wading birds and bald eagles nest on refuge islands. The mainland divisions provide habitat for songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl, as well as opportunities for bird watching and hiking.