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Maine Coastal Islands
National Wildlife Refuge

9 Water Street
PO Box 1735
Rockland, ME   04841
E-mail: mainecoastal@fws.gov
Phone Number: 207-594-0600
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
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  Wildlife and Habitat

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... The 2,195-acre Petit Manan Point Division, in Steuben, also includes jack pine stands, coastal raised heath peatlands, blueberry barrens, old hayfields, fresh and saltwater marshes, cedar swamps, granite shores, and cobble beaches. The Gouldsboro Bay Division, in Gouldsboro, protects 623 acres, including a large tidal saltmarsh and mudflat. The 1,028-acre Sawyer's Marsh Division lies at the head of a broad saltmarsh in Milbridge, just north of Petit Manan Point.

Neotropical migratory songbirds thrive in the forests of the mainland divisions. These birds breed in North America and winter in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America. Recently, populations of species such as the American redstart, Swainson's thrush, and song sparrow, have declined due to habitat loss throughout their migratory routes.

The saltmarshes and mudflats of the mainland divisions attract waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds. Black ducks, great blue herons, and American bitterns ply the waters of the saltmarshes. Semipalmated sandpipers, dowitchers, greater and lesser yellowlegs, and dunlins probe the mudflats for invertebrates.

During fall migration, 80-acre Cranberry Flowage on Petit Manan Point is filled with over 4,000 ducks. Black ducks, green-winged teal, and mallards rest and feed on wild rice in preparation for the long flight south. Long-tailed ducks, surf and white-winged scoters, common goldeneyes, and common eiders winter in coastal waters.

The former pastures and blueberry fields on Petit Manan Point provide nesting habitat for grassland birds such as bobolinks and savannah sparrows. In the spring, American woodcock use the clearings for their unique courtship displays. Whimbrels stop off here during their fall migration from the Arctic tundra to the southern United States. The Service maintains open areas through periodic mowing and controlled burning.

Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuges consists of four mainland divisions (4,277 acres) and 54 islands (3,895 acres). The refuge islands span over 250 miles of the Maine coast and support a tremendous diversity of wildlife. The majority of the islands within the refuge are considered nationally significant nesting islands, and support endangered and threatened species, colonial nesting seabirds, wading birds, and waterfowl. Habitat characteristics vary considerably among the islands. While some islands provide dense stands of red spruce and balsam fir for nesting bald eagles and wading birds, other islands provide great expanses of mixed grasses and raspberries which support nesting terns, common eiders, and a number of neotropical migrants. The rocky ledges surrounding the islands provide nesting habitat for Atlantic puffins, razorbills, and black guillemots. The inter-tidal areas surrounding the islands and mainland properties provide an abundance of invertebrates for migratory and wintering waterfowl and shorebirds. The diversity of upland habitats and the extensive inter-tidal habitats combine to provide foraging, breeding, and migratory habitat for over 320 species of birds.

Five of the islands within Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuges currently support seabird restoration projects. The primary focus of these projects is to re-establish breeding populations of common, Arctic, and roseate terns, Atlantic puffins, and razorbills on historic nesting islands. The combined efforts of the Refuge and our conservation partners have proven highly successful, and all five species have experienced significant population growth as a result of our efforts.

The four mainland units are located in the Towns of Corea, Gouldsboro, Steuben, and Milbridge, Maine, and also provide a diversity of habitat for a wide variety of species. The majority of habitat on all four parcels is dominated by mature forest, but the refuge also protects several saltmarshes, a diverse mix of freshwater wetlands, and several grassland and blueberry fields. The freshwater wetlands on Petit Manan Point are used by thousands of migratory waterfowl during the fall months.

The Petit Manan Point Division has two established trails, and offers exceptional views of the bold, rocky shoreline and adjacent bays. Additional trails are planned for the Milbridge and Gouldsboro properties. The seabird nesting islands within Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuges are generally open during daylight hours from September 1 through March 31, and closed to public use during the seabird nesting season: April 1 to August 31. For more information, contact the refuge manager at (207) 594-0600, extension 2.

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