The saltmarsh sparrow and seven other species have been added to Maine’s list of endangered and threatened wildlife. Dan Logan/Shutterstock

Maine has added eight species to the state’s list of endangered and threatened wildlife, including five birds, a bat, a bee and a beetle.

Two species – the saltmarsh sparrow and Ashton’s cuckoo bumble bee – are now listed as endangered, while the other six are listed as threatened, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Four species were added to the list because they are endangered or threatened by environmental impacts of climate change. The additions became official Oct. 25 – 90 days after the Legislature took action on the list and concluded its last session.

Maine has identified a total of 57 species as either endangered or threatened, a status that affords them extra protection under the Maine Endangered Species Act and additional survey, research and recovery efforts by the department and its conservation partners.

“Maine is known for its abundance of wildlife, but some species of wildlife are in danger of disappearing from Maine’s landscape,” fisheries and wildlife Commissioner Judy Camuso said in a statement. “The addition of these species to the state’s endangered and threatened list will provide additional protections which will aid in their recovery.”

The state’s endangered species act prohibits any interference with listed creatures in the wild, including collection, taking, killing, harassment, injury, disruption of natural behavior and other harmful activities that might lead to the destruction of the species.


The four species added because of climate impacts include the endangered saltmarsh sparrow, which breeds in coastal saltmarshes where its nests are vulnerable to flooding during high tides associated with sea0level rise, according to the department.

The margined tiger beetle was listed as threatened because it relies on limited saltmarsh and sand dune areas that are threatened by sea level rise and associated storm surges, the department reported.

Bicknell’s thrush and the blackpoll warbler were listed as threatened because they occupy spruce and fir forests that are predicted to retract to higher elevations or disappear altogether because of destructive insects and climate stress.

Like many bat species across North America, the tri-colored bat was listed as threatened because it has declined as a result of white-nose syndrome, a devastating disease that has destroyed over 90% of Maine’s hibernating bat species, according to the department.

Ashton’s cuckoo bumble bee was thought to have been wiped out in Maine following widespread bumblebee population declines in the early 2000s. It is now listed as endangered after a single population of the species was found in northern Aroostook County during a recent Maine Bumble Bee Atlas survey.

Two birds that eat flying insects – the cliff swallow and the bank swallow – are now listed as threatened because their populations in Maine have declined more than 95% in the past 50 years as a result of habitat loss and declining insect populations.

The department must review all species under its authority every eight years to determine which may qualify for listing. Department biologists compile a list of likely candidates that is reviewed by species specialists and presented at public hearings before being acted on by the Legislature.

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