Welcome to Darling National Wildlife Refuge
The J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge is located on the subtropical barrier island of Sanibel in the Gulf of Mexico. The refuge is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States. It is world famous for its spectacular migratory bird populations.
J. N. "Ding" Darling is one of over 550 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System administered by the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
There are over 20 dedicated full-time and part-time staff members who are charged with carrying out the mission of the J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
Hours of Operation
Note: WILDLIFE DRIVE CLOSED SUMMER 2013
The WILDLIFE DRIVE WILL OFFICIALLY CLOSE ON MONDAY MAY 20. The Wildlife Drive will be closed through the summer and anticipated reopening is October 1.
Refuge lands and waters are day use only.
No overnight mooring in any refuge waters.
Month Opens Closes
January 7:00 5:30
February 7:00 5:30
March 7:00 (7:30 at DST ) 6:00
April 7:00 7:00
May 7:00 7:30
June 7:00 8:00
July 7:00 8:00
August 7:00 7:30
September 7:00 7:00
October 7:30 6:30
November 7:30 (7:00 end of DST ) 5:30
December 7:00 5:30
May 1 - December 31
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
January 1 - April 30
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.