Wildlife in Maine

Wildlife in Maine
With an area of 33,414 square miles, Maine is easily the largest of the New England states. The state is mostly forested on the interior, allowing it to be a habitat for many species of mammals, birds and fish. Maine is famous for its moose population, with this largest member of the deer family being the state animal. In addition, there are many other creatures in Maine that make up its wildlife population.


The moose, which can weigh up to a ton, has an estimated population of 29,000 animals in Maine according to the state's Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Whitetail deer are even more abundant, with at least a quarter-million in the Pine Tree State. Black bears are found in Maine, with as many as 25,000 estimated to live in this eastern state. Other predators of Maine include the red fox, the gray fox, the coyote, the fisher, the pine marten, the Canadian lynx, the bobcat, the ermine, the long-tailed weasel and the mink. Other mammals in Maine are the beaver, the muskrat, the vole, the mouse, the otter, the raccoon, the red and gray squirrel, the skunk, the lemming, the opossum, the woodchuck, the shrew, the chipmunk, the flying squirrel, several types of bats, and the porcupine.


Maine is renowned for its excellent fishing opportunities, being a land of many lakes, ponds, streams and rivers. In Maine one would find brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout and lake trout, which are called toque by the natives. Landlocked salmon are present in Maine as are Arctic char and a species of fish known as a cusk; it resembles a freshwater version of a cod. Whitefish, bullheads, eels, alewives, pumpkinseeds, sunfish, white and yellow perch, and black crappie, also known as calico bass, reside in Maine waters inland. Top fish targets for anglers include the chain pickerel, the muskellunge, the northern pike, and largemouth and smallmouth bass.


The black-capped chickadee is Maine's state bird and is common throughout the entire state. Raptors such as the sharp-shinned hawk, the red-tailed hawk, Cooper's hawk, the northern harrier, the osprey, the bald and golden eagle, and the northern goshawk help to keep the small mammal populations in check. Owl species like the gray owl, the great horned owl, the screech owl, the boreal owl, and the snowy owl silently rule the night in Maine. Water birds like the heron, the bittern, the loon, the grebe, the cormorant, the goose, the duck, the seagull, the tern, and the kingfisher live on or near the water. Blackbirds, cardinals, woodpeckers, sparrows, warblers, finches, hummingbirds, flycatchers, crows, jays, wrens, waxwings, tanagers, thrushes, vireos, nuthatches, quail, grouse and swallows all either reside in Maine or pass through during an annual migration.

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