Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region

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Roanoke River
National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 430
Windsor, North Carolina 27983

Picture Collage - Man on Canoe pulling in fish with a net - Bird perched on branch next to nest - Lots of people on boats - Forest in marsh


Refuge Facts

  • Established: 1989.
  • Acres: 20,978.
  • Located in Bertie County, NC.
  • Other management: conservation easements-98 totaling 2,870 acres in 19 counties and two satellites totaling 174 acres.
  • Location: the refuge consists of five different tracts of land along 70 miles of the Roanoke River and two distant satellite tracts in other river basins. The Roanoke River tracts are scattered from Hamilton, NC to the mouth of the river or western Albemarle Sound. Headquarters are in Windsor, NC.
Natural History
  • Refuge lands, on the Atlantic Coastal Plain, are part of an extensive bottomland hardwood forest supported by wehadkee and chewacla soils. The forests consist of mixed hardwood flats and ridges, cypress/tupelo sloughs and black and brown water streams.
  • Concentrations of wintering waterfowl, nesting ducks, raptors, osprey and neo-tropical migrants are common. The largest inland heron rookery in North Carolina is on refuge.
  • The endangered shortnose sturgeon is found in refuge habitat of lower river reach.
  • Bald eagles nest on adjacent lands. River corridor is wintering area for bald eagles.
  • Bottomland hardwood forest 9,500 acres, cypress/tupelo swamp 8,000 acres.
Financial Impact of Refuge
  • Five-person staff.
  • 5,000 visitors annually
  • Current budget (FY 07) $470,700.
Refuge Objectives
  • Provide habitat for migratory waterfowl, neo-tropical migrants and other birds.
  • Provide migrating, spawning and nursery habitat for anadromous fish; i.e. blueback herring, alewife, hickory shad and striped bass.
  • Enhance and protect forested wetlands consisting of bottomland hardwoods and swamps.
  • To protect and manage for endangered and threatened wildlife.
  • Provide recreation and environmental education for the public.
  • North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
  • North Carolina Department of the Environment and Natural Resources.
  • Partnership for The Sounds.
  • The Nature Conservancy.
  • Georgia-Pacific.
  • VA/NC Power.
  • National Marine Fisheries Service.
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Last Updated: 3/19/13