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Abstract or Description

“Conservation Lands” include both public and private lands that are devoted to the protection of wildlife and natural resources. “Listed Species” include federally and state endangered and threatened animals that are in danger of extermination in the state of Maine. The purpose of this study is to determine how well conservation lands are protecting the habitats of listed species. GAP data was used for 13 terrestrial vertebrate species indicating the presence or absence of suitable habitats. This data was compiled in GIS, generating a layer showing the number of listed species an area is suitable for. The areas that were suitable for at least one habitat were compared to answer three questions: (1) Is there is a difference between the presence and absence of listed species on protected lands and lands that are not protected? (2) Is there is a difference between the presence and absence of listed species on public lands managed by the state and the federal government and private land? (3) Is there is a difference between the presence and absence of listed species on lands protected under easements and lands that are protected fee simple? We found significant differences between all three categories. Conservation lands, private lands, and lands held under easement protect the habitat of listed species most effectively. We believe that this is due to the large number of private land trusts in the state of Maine and the effective management strategies of state lands.

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