We're a Complex
The Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex is comprised of five individual refuges which span the coast of Maine and support an incredible diversity of habitats including coastal islands, forested headlands, estuaries and freshwater wetlands. All totaled, the refuge includes approximately 8,238 acres of diverse coastal Maine habitats including forested and non-forested offshore islands, coastal salt marsh, open field, and upland mature spruce-fir forest.Learn about the refuges
About the NWRS
The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.
Learn more about the NWRS
Seabird islands are closed to the public during the nesting season, April 1 - August 31, to minimize disturbance to the birds. Commercial tour boats along the coast provide views of nesting seabirds at several refuge and non-refuge islands.
Each summer, the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge employs researchers, many of them college students, to live on remote islands along the Maine coast and monitor seabird colonies. It is an experience like no other. This is their story.Read the blog
Check out the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge biological highlights from 2008 - 2012 to read the progress we've made on various projects throughout the refuge. Highlights include the Arctic Tern Geolocator Project, tracking great shearwater habitat, Atlantic puffin behavior study, bat migration monitoring and many others.Biological Highlights 2008 - 2012
The refuge's islands are as individual as finger prints: some support spruce-fir forests, others are treeless, covered by shrubs and grasses. Still others are mostly bedrock, with little vegetation. Some combine the three. The various habitat types attract a variety of bird species to the islands.
Page Photo Credits All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: Jan 06, 2014