Maine Field Office - Ecological Services
Northeast Region
 

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Maine Field Office

The Ecological Services program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for the conservation and restoration of fish and wildlife and their habitats. Field biologists investigate the effects of contaminants and the measures and costs of contaminant clean-up. We also help recover threatened and endangered species and review proposals for wetland and stream alterations from many types of development. We recommend measures to enhance fish and wildlife resources in conjunction with the licensing of energy generation facilities and other Federal projects such as shoreline protection, navigation and flood control, etc. Our work with private individuals, organizations, and other State and Federal agencies protects, restores and enhances fish and wildlife habitat on private, State, and Federal lands. Our office also provides the public with information about the value and benefits derived from the conservation and restoration of fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats.

Environmental Contaminants

USFWS Biologist sampling for an Atlantic Sturgeon. Credit: Steve Mierzyskowski, USFWS

Environmental contaminants biologist Steve Mierzyskowski, sampling a federally listed Atlantic sturgeon. Credit: Steve Mierzyskowski, USFWS

Fish and Wildlife technician Kayla Easler assisting in long term bald eagle survey on coastal islands of Maine.Credit: Kayla Easler, USFWS.

Fish and Wildlife technician Kayla Easler assisting in long term bald eagle survey on coastal islands of Maine.Credit: Kayla Easler, USFWS.

Common loon. Credit: Ronald Joseph

Common loon. Credit: Ronald Joseph

What does the Environmental Contaminants program do?

We continue to implement the loon restoration plan for the Sanborn Pond Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Case.  Our contractor conducts early and late season site visits to 12 lakes in the Brooks area and identifies loon pains with chicks, and assesses the status of the loon’s habitat.  Artificial nesting platforms installed in 20XX were evaluated and seem to be successful.  Six loons were banded at four locations this summer, and nest rafts will be constructed at the end of this field season.

This is the 3rd and final year of sampling for a project which monitors environmental contaminant uptake in coastal bald eagles.  As you are aware, top predators/scavengers like the bald eagle feed on fish, mammal carcasses and other sources of protein which themselves may have consumed contaminants as they grew and developed into adults.  The studies were conducted on National Wildlife Refuge lands were completed in June.  Seventeen samples from 14 bald eagle territories and one non viable egg were collected and submitted for contaminant analysis.  Preliminary results will be available by November 2011. 

Endangered and Threatened Species

Three eartagged Canada lynx kittens in the Great North Woods region of Maine. Credit: USFWS digital library.

Three eartagged Canada lynx kittens in the Great North Woods region of Maine. Credit: USFWS digital library.

Endangered species biologist Mark Mccollough down at the oil spill of 2010. Credit: Mark McCollough, USFWS.

Endangered species biologist Mark Mccollough down at the oil spill of 2010. Credit: Mark McCollough, USFWS.

Environmental contaminants biologist Steve Mierzyskowski, holding an endangered Atlantic salmon. Credit: Steve Mierzyskowski, USFWS

What does the Endangered Species program do?

The Maine Field Office (MEFO) is responsible for conserving federally-listed threatened and endangered species that occur within the State of Maine. In addition, the MEFO acts in the capacity of the FWS national species lead for the Atlantic salmon, Eastern cougar and Furbish’s lousewort. In Maine, NMFS has lead responsibility for marine aquatic species.

Concervation Planning Assistance

Hanging outlet. Credit: Laury Zicari, USFWS.

Hanging outlet. Credit: Laury Zicari, USFWS.

Wyman Dam. Credit: Steve Shepard, USFWS.

Wyman Dam. Credit: Steve Shepard, USFWS.

What does the Conservation Planning Assisstance program do?

Conservation Planning Assistance is the cornerstone of the USFWS Division of Ecological Services.  Once known as the Division of River Basin Studies, Ecological Services has become a smorgasbord of programs that provide technical assistance to the public, developers, conservationists, Federal agencies, state agencies.  Some of this assistance is in the form of guidelines to minimize the impacts of various activities on fish and wildlife; others may involve assisting in building partnerships, then designing, funding and sometimes constructing habitat restoration projects, others involves providing our expertise in other agency conservation activities. 


Conservation Planning Assistance puts a premium on PLANNING – that is, if ideas for projects are evaluated early in the planning process, project alternatives may be identified which can avoid or minimize impacts to fish and wildlife, including those afforded special protection under Federal laws such as the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act or the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.  Conservation Planning Assistance biologists work on hydropower dam relicensing, to provide for passage upstream and downstream for sea run fish such as Atlantic salmon, alewives, river herring, sea lampreys and American eels; wind power project siting, to provide information about how a project might be located in an area used for thousands of years as a migration route for birds and bats; a wide range of construction projects including industrial, housing, retail, and transportation infrastructure which are proposed in what has been wildlife habitat for a wide range of native species, including migratory birds and other trust species; and on larger Federally constructed or funded projects including port facilities, dredging activities flood control and erosion control projects to protect infrastructure.  We look at how culverts can be replaced with bottomless culverts which have a natural substrate for fish and are wide enough to have a natural flow to a point where passing through a culvert is invisible to a fish.  We assist in the conceptual design of fish ladders and fish ways and ensure that racks are properly sized and maintained to prevent fish from being injured or killed in hydroelectric power generating turbines in the big rivers.  We also see to provide for fish and wildlife habitat along the shorelines of reservoirs, by ensuring that water level changes associated with power generation don’t create a dead zone around reservoirs and lakes. 

Partners for Fish and Wildlife

Alewife restoration. Credit: Wende Mahaney, USFWS

Alewife restoration.Credit: Wende Mahaney, USFWS

What does the Partners program do?

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program was established in 1987 with a core group of biologists and a small budget for on-the-ground wetland restoration projects on private lands. This successful, results-oriented program has garnered support through the years and has grown into a larger and more diversified habitat restoration program assisting thousands of private landowners across the Nation.   In Maine,  we are currently working on projects to restore and protect habitat for two Federally-listed plants, habitat enhancement/restoration for the candidate species, the New England cottontail; working with partners to restore alewives to a lake in the Penobscot River and supporting Project SHARE’s work reconnecting sections of stream habitat for migration, spawning and juvenile rearing of Atlantic salmon.

Last updated: May 31, 2017
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