Swanquarter National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region

Notice: Bell Island Pier Reopens - Saturday, December 15, 2012 (PDF 203kb).

Visit the new National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center or take a virtual tour of the wild locations it represents!

Collage of images - 2 Aerial pictures of the refuge - White waterfowl wading through the water - people fishing from a pier

Refuge Facts

  • Established: 1932.
  • Acres: 16,411.
  • Other management responsibilities: Swanquarter Presidential Proclamation (27,000 acres in Pamlico Sound). Swanquarter National Wilderness Area (8,800 acres).
  • Location: North shore of Pamlico Sound east and west of the village of Swan Quarter accessible by boat only except for the Bell Island Unit (2 miles west of Swan Quarter by US Highway 264) in Hyde County, NC.
Natural History
  • Most significant feature is an extensive coastal marsh which includes the Swanquarter National Wilderness Area.
  • Concentrations of diving ducks (lesser scaups, redheads, buffleheads, canvasbacks, and surf scoters), sea ducks, American black ducks, wading birds and shorebirds. Wading bird rookeries, osprey nesting and colonial nesting birds occur.
  • Habitat consists of irregularly flooded brackish marsh (13,200 acres) and forested wetlands (3,200 acres).
Financial Impact of Refuge Refuge Objectives
  • Provide habitat and protection for endangered species such as American alligators and bald eagles.
  • Provide habitat and protection for migratory waterfowl and other birds.
  • Provide wildlife-related recreation and environmental education for the public.



Last Updated: 3/19/13