© Pete Saloutos/Panoramic Images (Maine Title Image Large)
Plants and Animals
Maine's mosaic of diverse physical settings supports a wide diversity of wildlife that can be equaled in few other states.
The state has the largest population of bald eagles in the Northeast, and its islands support one of the most diverse nesting seabird populations on the East Coast, including habitat for rare species such as the Roseate and Arctic Tern, Atlantic Puffin, and Razorbill Auk.
Maine’s relatively clean, free-flowing rivers sustain some of the best remaining populations of rare freshwater mussels and dragonflies in the East, host globally rare endemics, such as the Tomah mayfly (Siphlonisca aerodromia) and Roaring Brook mayfly (Epeorus frisoni), and support the recently listed Atlantic salmon DPS (Distinct Population Segment) (Salmo salar) found in eight mid-coast and downeast rivers.
Maine’s northern most river, the St. John, with its short, cool, moist summers mimics a subarctic like climate and provides habitat along its banks for numerous rare plants including the globally rare endemic Furbish’s lousewort (Pedicularis furbishiae).
Maine’s mountains and forested habitats contribute significantly to the global breeding habitat of neotropical migrants such as Bicknell’s Thrush and Blackthroated-blue Warbler. The state has some of the best examples of pitch pine-scrub oak forest remaining in New England, hosting a suite of globally rare plants and invertebrates.