Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge

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Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Map showing the location of Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge
Map showing the location of Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge
Map of the United States
Location Knox County, Maine, United States
Nearest city Vinalhaven, Maine
Coordinates 43°53′17″N 68°44′24″W / 43.888°N 68.74°W / 43.888; -68.74Coordinates: 43°53′17″N 68°44′24″W / 43.888°N 68.74°W / 43.888; -68.74
Area 65 acres (26 ha)
Governing body U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
http://www.fws.gov/northeast/mainecoastal/seal_is/

Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge is a 1-mile long (1.6 km) island off the coast of Maine near Matinicus Island. It is home to colonies of many types of seabirds, including Atlantic Puffins, Great Cormorants, Arctic Terns, Common Terns, and guillemots. The puffin colony is part of the National Audubon Society's reintroduction program off the coast of Maine.

During the Cold War, the island was used as a gunnery range and bombing test site for the U.S. Navy. Unexploded ordnance remains on the island, though some were detonated by a fire in the late 1970s. The blaze wiped out every bird colony on the island, but the island has been since resettled by an even greater diversity of birds. During any given summer season, over 100 species of birds are observed by researchers on the island. The ordnance still presents a danger to refuge staff and interns.

Seal Island NWR has a surface area of 65 acres (26 ha).[1] It is part of the Town of Vinalhaven.

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 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.