March 16, 2020
Maine recently marked the bicentennial of its statehood. In honor of the occasion, the Portland Press Herald took a look back at how some of the state’s animals have been impacted through the years.
According to the article, during the 200 years that Maine has been a state, humans have had an impact on whether animals have vanished, returned, arrived, or thrived.
Animals no longer found on the Maine landscape include the gray whale, the eastern cougar, the gray wolf, the wolverine, and the woodland caribou.
Some of the species that vanished from Maine over the last 200 years have since returned, including the peregrine falcon. A total of 153 young peregrines were reintroduced in Maine between 1984 and 1997. Since 2009, Maine has been home to at least 25 nesting pairs
“In a lot of regions of the Northeast, peregrine falcons only nested on cliffs,” Noah Perlut, Ph.D., chair and associate professor in the Department of Environmental Studies, told the Press Herald. “Now they are nesting on bridges and quarries and buildings.”
A number of other non-native species have successfully moved here, too, including two species of vultures: the turkey vulture and the black vulture.
Perlut tells the Press Herald there are reports that black vultures are now breeding here in Maine.