Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge

Maine

(207) 546-2124

Map Directions

Things To Do

 

Overview

Seal Island is a treeless island lying about 21 miles south of Rockland in Knox County. Seal Island once had the largest Atlantic puffin colony in the Gulf of Maine. This colony was harvested for meat, eggs and feathers eventually wiping out the birds by the late 1800s. Although herring and great black-backed gulls, common eiders, double-crested cormorants and arctic terns recolonized the island during the first part of the century, puffins never returned. Between 1984 and 1989 the Service, in cooperation with the National Audubon Society and the Canadian Wildlife Service, reintroduced 912 puffin chicks which were hand raised in burrows. For the first time in over 100 years puffins renested at Seal Island in 1992. Since 1966, the Service has had a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard to manage Matinicus Rock as a wildlife sanctuary. The island is closed to public access year round due to the presence of unexploded ordnance.

Map of SEAL ISLAND NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 43.889233, -68.744545

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Activities

  • Bird Watching

    Over 300 species of birds have been identified at the refuge. Bald eagles, song sparrows and common goldeneyes are among the birds that make the refuge their home at points during the year. Seal Island also supports the endangered roseate tern and Maine-threatened-species arctic tern, Atlantic puffin and razorbill.

Directions

Driving

Seal Island lies about 21 miles south of Rockland in Knox County. The island is closed to public access year round due to the presence of unexploded ordnance.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(207) 546-2124

Links