Maine Title Image Large
© 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.

Explore Maine's Plants and Animals

  • Featured Plants in Maine

    Rare plants have no formal protection in Maine -- our rare plant legislation is for informational purposes only -- so the habitat in which these plants occur is important for their survival.

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  • Featured Animals in Maine

    As of December 2008, Maine has 11 marine animal species that are listed as Endangered or Threatened under Maine's Marine Endangered Species Act, the US Endangered Species Act, or both.

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  • Conserving Maine's Plants and Animals

    Maine, without its rich landscape of plant and animal life, is just not Maine. There are great efforts being made, by both the state and private organizations, to conserve the unique, wild character of this state.

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  • Hotspots and Diversity in Maine

    The Hotspots of Maine in regards to species and habitat diversity are known as the Beginning with Habitat Focus Areas. These are places in Maine that have been identified as areas of statewide ecological significance.

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Quick Facts

Maine Natural Areas Program
93 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 287-8044
Fax: (207) 287-8040


Founded in: 1979

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