Two islands added to federal wildlife refuge

Posted Sept. 16, 2011, at 7:52 p.m.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — With the help of a land trust, two small, uninhabited islands near Mount Desert Island have been acquired and incorporated in the federal Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

Sally Island, a 5-acre chunk of land in Gouldsboro Bay off the village of Corea, and North Twinnie Island, a 3½-acre island in Eastern Bay in Bar Harbor, now bring the total number of coastal islands in the refuge to 56, according to a statement released this week by Maine Coast Heritage Trust. The trust acquired the islands in recent years from willing landowners with the intent of transferring them to the trust for permanent conservation when funds became available.

Information about how much money the refuge paid to acquire the islands was unavailable Friday afternoon.

According to the statement from the trust, Sally Island is inhabited by eider ducks, black guillemots and other seabird species. North Twinnie has feeding and nesting habitat for various duck species and is home to a bald eagle nesting site.

“Protecting these islands is a significant step in the ongoing protection of one of Maine’s most fragile natural resources,” Maine Coast Heritage Trust President Tim Glidden said in the statement. “MCHT is proud of our longstanding partnership with the refuge to enhance and protect Maine’s nationally significant seabird nesting islands.”

The primary focus of the Maine Coastal Islands refuge is to restore and manage colonies of nesting seabirds, including Atlantic puffins, razorbills, Leach’s storm petrels, common eiders and multiple types of terns, gulls and cormorants, according to the statement. The refuge spans more than 250 miles along the Maine coast and consists of more than 8,100 acres of islands and coastal lands.

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