U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Oregon Islands
National Wildlife Refuge


11th St, off U.S. Highway 101
Bandon, OR   
E-mail: oregoncoast@fws.gov
Phone Number: 541-867-4550
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
http://oregoncoast.fws.gov/oregonislands/index.htm
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  Wildlife Observation and Photography
Continued . . .

Coquille Point, a unit of Oregon Islands Refuge, is located just west of Bandon and provides a fantastic vantage point for observing seabirds and marine mammals. During the breeding season (April-August) seabirds that can be seen here include: common murres, pigeon guillemots, tufted puffins, Brandt's and pelagic cormorants, black oystercatchers and western gulls. Other birds of interest observed here are brown pelicans (June-October) and Aleutian Canada geese using Table and Haystack Rocks during March and early April. Gray whales are often seen from this point during December-January and March-May and harbor seals are present year-round during calmer surf conditions.

During the summer, the volunteer organization Shoreline Education for Awareness Inc. provides spotting scopes and informational literature about wildlife found at Coquille Point.

Many other vantage points along the Oregon coast provide excellent opportunities for viewing coastal wildlife and the Oregon Islands Refuge. Among these are sites at Ecola State Park, Cannon Beach, Cape Meares Refuge, Yaquina Head, Cape Perpetua, Heceta Head, Cape Arago, Battle Rock State Park and Harris Beach State Park. Other good sites are referred to in the Oregon Wildlife Viewing Guide.

Due to the extremely sensitive nature of the seabirds, marine mammals, and threatened and endangered species using this refuge, public access is not permitted on any of the rocks, reefs, and islands of this refuge. However wildlife may be observed from the mainland and boats. Boaters are requested to stay a minimum of 500 feet from rocks, islands, and reefs at all times to protect the sensitive wildlife resources from disturbance.

Oregon Islands Refuge supports the largest concentration of nesting seabirds along the U.S. west coast because of the abundance and diversity of nesting habitat managed as sanctuary for sensitive wildlife. The relative isolation of the rocks, reefs, and islands, absence of land based mammalian predators, and low human disturbance provides the necessary conditions to allow huge populations of seabirds and marine mammals to flourish as well as provide for increasing populations of threatened and endangered species.

However, human disturbance is the top management concern of this refuge as the local human population continues to grow and as tourism and recreation along the Oregon coast expands. Single disturbance events by people getting too close to refuge rocks on foot, by boat or by aircraft can result in the loss of hundreds or thousands of young birds in nests and stampeding seals and sea lions can easily crush their pups when fleeing. Seabirds fleeing their nests can easily knock their eggs or young from their precarious perches on cliff ledges to the surf below, and eggs and young left unguarded quickly fall prey to gulls, crows, and ravens or can succumb to exposure from adverse weather conditions.

Please do not approach the refuge rocks, reefs, and islands closely. From a safe distance use binoculars or a spotting scope to bring the wildlife closer to you.


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