Tags: Gun Control | Maine | hunting | protected species

Hunting in Maine: 4 Animals Designated Nongame, Endangered, Threatened, and Protected Species

By    |   Monday, 01 Jun 2015 12:36 PM

Maine includes many species of animals and birds with open seasons for hunting as well as some that are off-limits. Hunters are prohibited from targeting those animals in the state that are designated as protected, endangered, or threatened. They include the spruce grouse, New England cottontail rabbit, Canada lynx and northern bog lemming.

1. Spruce Grouse (Protected)
Although the ruffed grouse may be hunted, the spruce grouse enjoys protected status in Maine. The population of the spruce grouse is now classified as fragmented, making this breed vulnerable to extinction. Spruce grouse are thought to depend on stands of coniferous pine, spruce and fir trees. Such conifer stands are waning in the Pine Tree State, according to the University of Maine.

2. New England Cottontail Rabbit (Endangered)
Other research predicts a dim future for the cottontail rabbit. In the Pine Tree State, the cottontail is the only mammal currently listed as an endangered species by the state’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Once found in many pockets of New England and eastern New York State, the rabbit’s range has declined by 86 percent since 1960. The cottontail lives in young forests with thick and tangled vegetation. After large trees start to grow in this environment, it is no longer suitable for the cottontail, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

3. Canada Lynx (Protected and “Of Special Concern”)
Under the federal Endangered Species Act, the Canada lynx is classified as a threatened species in the United States. In Maine, the Canada lynx has been protected from hunting since 1967 and is now an animal of “special concern,” according to the IF&W.

While the center of its range is in north-central Canada, the animal has lived in the eastern United States between coniferous forests to the north and deciduous forest to the south. These days, its habitat is impinged upon by recreation and timber harvesting, the FWS said.

4. Northern Bog Lemming (Threatened)
The northern bog lemming is the only mammal in Maine to be classified as “threatened” by the IF&W. Research by the state shows that the elusive animal prefers wetland habitats with thick peat moss bogs and scatterings of red spruce, balsam fir and northern cedar trees.

The northern bog lemming is found in so few sites in Maine that its survival could be placed at risk by the development of ski areas and wind power, according to additional research by the state.

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Maine includes many species of animals and birds with open seasons for hunting as well as some that are off-limits. Hunters are prohibited from targeting those animals in the state that are designated as protected, endangered, or threatened.
Maine, hunting, protected species
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2015-36-01
Monday, 01 Jun 2015 12:36 PM
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