“providing a winters getaway for migratory birds”
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1938 to provide nesting, resting, and wintering habitat for migratory birds, including the greater snow geese and other migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, raptors, and neotropical migrants; to provide habitat and protection for endangered and threatened species, such as Loggerhead sea turtles; and to provide opportunities for public enjoyment of wildlife and wildlands resources.
Visitor Services programs focus on interpretation, environmental education, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and fishing. The refuge is 13 miles north to south and covers 5,834 acres of land and 25,700 acres of Proclamation Boundary waters.
The refuge is located on the north end of Hatteras Island, a coastal barrier island and part of a chain of islands known as the Outer Banks. The bird list for Pea Island Refuge boasts more than 365 species; the wildlife list has 25 species of mammals, 24 species of reptiles, and 5 species (low number due to salt environment) of amphibians. Pea Island offers excellent fishing opportunities in both the Atlantic Ocean and Pamlico Sound. Permits are required for nighttime surf-fishing, and all interior waters are closed to fishing. Otherwise fishing is allowed under state law.
Several species of sea turtles nest on the isolated beaches of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Located on the northern end of their nesting range, we have fewer nests than other areas, but only time will tell the significance. Pea Island is one of six refuges in the North Carolina Coastal Plain National Wildlife Refuges Complex.
This is a must-stop along Cape Hatteras National Seashore, most especially for bird-lovers! There's 13 miles of seashore land to explore and tons to do, besides bird watching. It's a very peaceful and relaxing wildlife refuge, and a great stop along an Atlantic Coast road trip.
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Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
- Sun - Sat: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
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