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Home > Wildlife > Species Information > Maine Endangered Species Program > Endangered and Threatened Species > FAQ's > Listing Process
Maine Endangered Species Program/The Listing Process
Species in Maine are listed as endangered or threatened only after meeting strict requirements for evidence that they may disappear from the State. The kinds of information used to decide status include: population size, trend, distribution and fragmentation, habitat loss, over-utilization, and the results of population modeling. To qualify for consideration for listing, a species must be wild (i.e., not domesticated or feral), native to Maine, and spend a portion of its annual life cycle in Maine (i.e., not be accidental or a vagrant).
After a comprehensive review of scientific evidence, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife may propose to the Maine Legislature that a species be listed under one of the following four categories:
The first two categories (endangered and threatened) carry regulatory significance. The remaining categories are not used in regulation but rather are for planning and informational purposes. They do not have the legal bearing of endangered or threatened status.
The decision to list a species in any category does not automatically assign a certain level of management, nor does it automatically commit resources or programs. Those actions are subsequent and separate steps to the listing process. Separating listing and management enables species to be listed based solely on the biological facts, purely reflecting a species' likelihood of extirpation from Maine. Listing status is assigned without being constrained by such things as limits on agency funding, staffing, jurisdiction, or management capabilities; by political concerns; or by the ease or difficulty of managing a species, or a species' responsiveness or lack of responsiveness to management.
By having a separate step after listing regarding management priorities, more refined decisions are allowed. The feasibility, desirability and practicality of management are considered at this point as is the recognition that various state agencies or branches of agencies may have applicable jurisdictions. These decisions are addressed in various MDIFW Jobs and in MDIFW's Management Systems.
A handbook has been prepared that provides guidelines for implementing the Maine Endangered Species Act.
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