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Maine
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Pond Island National Wildlife Refuge
Pond Island National Wildlife Refuge
POND ISLAND NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
POND ISLAND NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
PO Box 495
Rockport, Maine   04856

Phone: 207-236-6970
Pond Island NWR is a 10-acre island located in the mouth of the Kennebec River adjacent to Popham Beach. The U.S. Coast Guard transferred the island to the Fish and Wildlife Service in 1973 and still maintains the historic light house on the island. The treeless character and grass, forb, and shrub cover provides excellent habitat for nesting seabirds. In 1996, the Service, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and National Audubon Society initiated a tern restoration program on Pond Island. In 1999, ten pairs of common terns successfully nested producing the first tern chick in more than 60 years. Today the island supports about 135 pairs of nesting terns. Common eiders also nest on Pond Island and during the fall migration, a variety of shorebirds, songbirds, and raptors can be seen there.
Nature of the Area
Vegetation on Pond Island is dominated by a variety of mixed grasses. The eastern and northern sides of the island feature steep rock outcroppings, while a small beach is also located on the northern end of the island. The inter-tidal area surrounding the island and on the nearby Popham Beach provide extensive foraging habitat for a variety of migrating shorebirds.

Records indicate that Pond Island supported a large common tern colony until 1937. At that point in time, an expanding population of gulls eventually excluded all nesting terns from the island. The adjacent North Sugarloaf Island supported the largest colony of endangered roseate terns in Maine, until gulls eventually eliminated that breeding colony. In an effort to restore terns to this historic nesting island, the Service and National Audubon Society initiated a seabird restoration project in 1996. Nesting gulls were removed from the island and tern decoys were scattered across the island. Biologists also used a tape recording of an active tern colony to entice the terns back to the island. Our efforts proved successful, when in 1999 Pond Island produced its first tern chick in more than 60 years. The colony has continued to grow and now supports over 300 pairs of terns. In 2003, biologists were thrilled to document the first successful breeding efforts of two pairs of endangered roseate terns on Pond Island. Unfortunately for the terns, great horned owls frequently visit the island to prey on the nesting seabirds. This nocturnal disturbance has limited tern productivity in recent years. In addition to providing important breeding habitat, the island is an important staging area for common and roseate terns in August.

The island also supports nesting common eiders, and Leach's storm-petrels. Sharp-tailed, seaside, and song sparrows, barn, and tree swallows have also been observed nesting on Pond Island. Meadow voles are the only year-round residents that have been noted on the island. Rocky shorelines, swift currents and tides severely limit public use. Access to the island is by boat only, with a limited area of shoreline suitable for safe landing.
History of the Area
Records indicated that Pond Island supported a large common tern colony until 1937. At that point in time, as was repeated along the entire coast of Maine, a growing population of gulls on the island eventually excluded all nesting terns from Pond Island. At one point in time, the adjacent North Sugarloaf Island supported the largest colony of endangered roseate terns in Maine. In an effort to restore terns to this historic nesting island, the Service and National Audubon Society initiated a seabird restoration project in 1996. Nesting gulls were removed and tern decoys were scattered across the island. Biologists also used a tape recording of an active tern colony to entice the terns back to the island. Our efforts proved successful, when in 1999 Pond Island produced its first tern chick in more than 60 years. The colony has continued to grow and now supports over 300 pairs of terns.


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Area Campgrounds
Shore Hills Campground
553 Wiscasset Road
Boothbay, ME
207-633-4782
Thomas Point Beach Park & Campground
29 Meadow Road
Brunswick, ME
Sagadahoc Bay Campground
9 Molly Point Lane
Georgetown, ME
207-371-2014
Orr's Island Campground
44 Bond Point Road
Orr's Island, ME
207-833-5595
Hermit Island Campground
6 Hermit Island Campground
Phippsburg, ME
207-443-2101
Meadowbrook Camping
33 Meadowbrook Road
Phippsburg, ME
Ocean View Park Inc
187 Popham Road
Phippsburg, ME
207-389-2564
Gray Homestead Oceanfront
21 Homestead Road
Southport, ME
207-633-4612
Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Atlantic Birches Inn - Old Orchard Beach, MEBBs / Inns
An elegant yet casual Romantic, Historic, Victorian Bed and Breakfast. The Inn is perfect for Small Weddings, Honeymoons, Vow Renewals, Engagement Surprises, Anniversaries, Elopements, Family Reunions, Vacations, Ladies Weekends, Family Holiday Gatherings, and Weekend Getaways at the Beach.
34.4 miles from park*
Weather Forecast, (04562)

Directions
Pond Island is located in the mouth of the Kennebec River 16 miles northeast of Portland and adjacent to Popham Beach. The island can be accessed by personal boat only. Pond island is open during daylight hours from September 1 to March 31 and closed to public access during the seabird nesting season from April 1 to August 31. For more information, contact Refuge Manager at (207) 236-6970.

USA Parks
USA Parks
Maine
Maine
Region
Region
Pond Island National Wildlife Refuge
Pond Island National Wildlife Refuge