Maine is home to a wide variety of wildlife, and, for some species, Maine makes up a vast majority of their range or provides essential habitat that can’t be found elsewhere. NRCM works to protect Maine’s wildlife by advocating for policies that ensure they have healthy habitat and abundant resources to thrive.
Moose, deer, and loons are a few of the animals for which Maine is known and loved. For some species, like the Black-throated Blue Warbler, Maine provides habitat for a proportionately large part of the entire world’s breeding population—nearly 20 percent. Others, like the Canada lynx, are rare in our state. For still other species, such as American marten, northern Maine is the southernmost extent of its range.
Given the many threats wildlife populations now face, particularly habitat loss and degradation as well as climate change, Mainers must do all we can to ensure species have adequate protection and funding. It all comes down to good habitat. Maine’s North Woods is the largest undeveloped forest east of the Mississippi, providing vast acres of crucial habitat for mammals, birds, and insects. Research has shown that the smaller and more isolated a forest patch, the less likely it will be to support a self-sustaining population of animals. Some of Maine’s wildlife move across large ranges, and connectivity between suitable habitat patches is critical to their survival.
Maine’s North Woods provides “source populations” for adjoining regions—the only source of potential immigrants to areas where populations may be at higher risk of disappearing. Misplaced, sprawling, and extensive development put our North Woods at risk. Maine’s fish and wildlife also support nature-based businesses, such as wilderness guiding, which are an important part of the state’s economy.
NRCM has made protection of Maine’s North Woods one of our highest priorities. Our children, grandchildren, and generations to come should be able to enjoy and wonder at the diversity of wildlife that call Maine home. We will continue to advocate for land protection, sound forest practices, for policies the prevent harm from toxics, and for other initiatives that protect the wildlife of Maine and the habitat they depend on.
Banner photo: Moose by NRCM member Gerard Monteux