AUGUSTA – The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has just completed placing all Essential Habitat Maps for Endangered and Threatened Species online. You can access them at www.mefishwildlife.com.

Essential Habitats are defined as areas currently or historically providing physical or biological features essential to the conservation of an endangered of threatened species in Maine, and which may require special management considerations.

These maps on the website provide landowners, developers, land use planners, state agencies and municipal governments an easy-to-access tool of where regulated habitats are. It also details and gives users guidelines to work within.

Before an area can become designated as Essential Habitat, it must be identified and mapped by IFW and adopted through public rulemaking procedures, following Maine’s Administrative Procedures Act.

In 1988, the Maine Legislature amended the Maine Endangered Species Act by adding habitat protection provisions in order to spur species recovering through habitat protection and to develop consistent, predictable land use decision-making processes for endangered and threatened species.


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