*Text taken from the online "Draft
Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Impact
Statement," dated April 2004, of the Petit Manan
National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
This 10-acre island is located at the mouth of the Kennebec
River, in the Town of Phippsburg, Sagadahoc County. The island
was acquired in 1973 by transfer from the U.S. Coast Guard,
who maintain a lighthouse and fog signal on the island.
The vegetation is dominated by a variety of mixed grasses.
The eastern and northern sides of the island feature steep
rock outcroppings, while a small sand beach is also located
on the northern end of the island.
Until 1937, Pond Island supported a common tern colony but
similar to many other tern colonies, gulls eventually excluded
terns from the island. At one point in time, the adjacent North
Sugarloaf Island supported the largest roseate tern colony
in Maine. In an effort to restore terns to this historic nesting
area, the Service and National Audubon Society initiated a
tern restoration project in 1996. In 1999, Pond Island produced
its first tern chick in more than 60 years, when 10 pairs of
common tern successfully nested on the island. The Pond Island
colony has continued to grow and in 2002, the island supported
109 pairs of common tern nested on the island.
Common eider and Leach's storm-petrels also nest on the island.
Unfortunately, great-horned owl and mammal predation continue
to be a management concern on the island. Table 3-10 presents
the nesting seabirds known on the island.
The island is managed in cooperation with National Audubon
Society, and biological technicians staff the island during
the nesting season. The society also maintains positive working
relationships with several neighbors and organizations in the
area. The beach on Pond Island could potentially provide limited
habitat for least terns and piping plovers. The island is also
an important staging area for common and roseate terns in August.
The island is closed to public access during the seabird nesting
season: April 1 to August 31. Informational signs are in place
to alert visitors to the closure period.
The island is open to migratory waterfowl hunting under State
and Refuge regulations.
Pond Island is located next to a popular beach (Popham Beach)
that supports high public use in the summer. Personal watercraft
use adjacent to Pond Island may become an issue in the future.