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Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge facts for kids

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Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN Category IV (Habitat/Species Management Area)
Photo of the Week - Moose in mist (ME) (12637633223).jpg
Moose at Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge, August 2005
Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge is located in the United States
Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge
Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge
Location in the United States
Location Aroostook County, Maine, United States
Nearest city Limestone
Area 5,252 acres (21.25 km2)
Established 1998
Governing body U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Website Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge

Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge is located on part of the former Loring Air Force Base, in Aroostook County, Maine. It was established in 1998, when 4,700 acres (19 km2) were transferred from the United States Air Force to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. This refuge also administers some 2,400 acres (970 ha) of wetland conservation easements throughout Aroostook County. It is close to the state park where visitors hike for particular seasons. In a portion of Maine where the landscape is dominated by agricultural crops such as potatoes and broccoli, Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge protects valuable wildlife habitat. The variety of habitat types attracts a diversity of wildlife species.

The refuge has a surface area of 5,252 acres (21.25 km2). It is part of the Town of Limestone.


Numerous animals can often be seen feeding on the farm fields adjacent to the new refuge boundary. They feed along stream banks and forested wetlands. Waterfowl that use the refuge wetlands include black ducks, wood ducks, and hooded mergansers; Canada geese may be seen on East Loring Lake and the Little Madawaska River upstream from the dam during periods of spring and fall migration. River otters, minks, red foxes, bobcats, coyotes, fishers, lynxes, muskrats, gray foxes, beavers, raccoons, and snowshoe hares are the common or occasional conspicuous species that inhabit portions of this refuge.

The majority of the refuge is forested upland, which offer nesting habitat for migratory songbirds. Warblers such as the black-throated green, Canada, bay-breasted, Cape May, and Blackburnian, are common in the spring and summer. These "neotropical migrants" breed here and winter in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Refuge grasslands provide habitat for upland sandpipers, bobolinks, and Savannah sparrows. Woodcocks use grassy areas for courtship and upland forested areas for nesting.

Residential large mammals such as black bear and moose can be seen on this refuge.

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