News & Notes

Support Changes to Maine’s List of Endangered and Threatened Species

Monday, August 4th, 2014
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The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW) has proposed additions and changes to the state’s Endangered and Threatened Species list.  We need your help in supporting these additions and changes.

Please attend a public hearing tonight or tomorrow night or submit written comments by August 15.

Protecting species at risk in Maine is a core environmental issue for the people of Maine—people who deeply value the state’s diverse wildlife. With the passage almost 40 years ago of Maine’s Endangered Species Act, the state began listing its threatened and endangered species.

Purpose and Benefits of the List
  • Maintaining a current list of species most at risk of extinction in Maine—a list based on scientific data about the health of a species’ population—is the first step to protection.
  •  Based on the list, Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW) can develop management and recovery plans for listed species and review projects that might affect them, assuring negative impacts are avoided or minimized wherever possible.
  • The list is a public document that helps businesses, landowners, government agencies, and others know which wildlife is rare and vulnerable in Maine. It can help eliminate uncertainties, costly petitions, and legal action.
  • The list provides a reason for landowners to work cooperatively with the state, and creates opportunities for positive public education about Maine wildlife for Maine residents and visitors.
  • By helping to protect species at risk, the list also can help protect rare habitat.


Process for Updating

Additions to the state’s list of endangered and threatened species have been made only every 8 years or so, with the list last modified in 2007.

DIFW will submit its recommendations this winter to the Legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee.

Proposed Additions

DIFW proposes adding six animals to the list and modifying the status of four, as follows:

  • Endangered: two birds (Black-crowned Night Heron and Great Cormorant breeding population only) (downgraded from threatened), a beetle (Cobblestone Tiger Beetle), a butterfly (Frigga Fritillary), a land snail (Six-whorl Vertigo) and two bats (Little Brown Bat and Northern Long-eared Bat).
  • Threatened: a mayfly (Roaring Brook Mayfly (upgraded from endangered)), a butterfly (Clayton’s Copper (upgraded from endangered)), and a bat (Eastern Small-footed Bat).

Maine Audubon has been very involved in bat conservation over the past number of years.  We’ve learned a lot about the threats to bats and their precarious status.  White-nose Syndrome (WNS) has devastated bat populations across the nation and in Maine.  Maine has eight bat species. Five species hibernate in mines or cave so are susceptible to WNS. These include the big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus), little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii), and tri-colored bat (Pipistrellus subflavus). WNS was discovered in several Maine hibernacula (bat colonies) in 2011. Maine Audubon, together with partners, helped gather important information about trends in bat populations that have led to DIFW proposing the listing of 3 bats.

The hearings are being held at the following locations:

Monday, August 4, 6:30 pm at Portland City Hall, Room 24 (basement), 389 Congress St., Portland

Tuesday, August 5, 6:30 pm at the University of Maine Farmington, Roberts Learning Center (C23 back building), Main St., Farmington

Written Comments:

Written comments may be submitted until August 15 to Becky Orff, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 284 State St., 41 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333, [email protected]

For more information, contact: Jenn Burns Gray, Maine Audubon, (207) 781-2330, ext. 224, or [email protected].