METINIC ISLAND — The entire tern population on Maine’s Metinic Island has abandoned the small island.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says an estimated 1,400 terns left the island during a storm in June after gulls infiltrated the island’s small beach where the terns nest.

The island is located about seven miles east of Port Clyde and is one of the few places where terns nest in Maine.

Brian Benedict, deputy refuge manager for the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge, told the Bangor Daily News the refuge has never lost an entire bird population from a refuge island before.

He said it’s likely the birds will nest on nearby islands, but it’s unclear if they’ll return to Metinic next year.

 

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