Did you know Maine has a plan for conserving its most rare and vulnerable fish and wildlife species?

Maine’s Wildlife Action Plan, created in 2005, focuses on voluntary measures that can assist many of Maine’s most vulnerable species. It highlights natural area conservation efforts, and sets the course for the future of wildlife conservation in Maine.

Since then, Maine has received close to $8 million in federal funding and accomplished more than 50 research, management, and conservation projects benefiting brook trout, rare freshwater mussels and dragonflies, migrant birds and globally rare species.

Maine is home to 292 species of birds, 61 species of non-marine mammals, 20 species of reptiles, 18 species of amphibians, 56 species of inland fish and 313 species of marine fish and mammals. The state is a geographic transition area, and its abundant wildlife resources represent a blending of species that are at or approaching the northern or southern limit of their ranges. Maine’s diverse physical settings support a wide diversity of wildlife that few other states can equal.

Wildlife Action Plans are created collaboratively among state, federal, tribal and local agencies, non-profit organizations, private landowners, and the general public to identify opportunities to conserve vulnerable species and habitats before they become more difficult to address.

In 2005, Maine’s plan identified 213 of our species in greatest need of conservation, the key issues surrounding these fish, wildlife and their habitats; and showcased conservation opportunities necessary to prevent a species from becoming endangered, or to implement recovery programs.

Wildlife Action Plans must be updated every 10 years, with Maine’s next revised plan set for Oct. 1, 2015. Over the coming year, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and its partners will work together to identify Maine’s fish and wildlife needs and conservation opportunities for the next decade.

For more information, to make comments or become involved in Maine’s 2015 Wildlife Action Plan revision, visit maine.gov/ifw/wildlife/reports/MWAP2015.html or email mainewildlifeactionplan@gmail.com.