Vieques National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
Map of the Southeast Region

Refuge Facts
Western end established May 1, 2001; 3,100 acres. Eastern end established May 1, 2003; 14,671 acres.

Location: the refuge lands are located on the eastern and western ends of the island.
Administered under Caribbean Island NWR complex.

Natural History

The refuge contains several ecologically distinct habitats including beaches, coastal
lagoons, mangrove wetlands and upland forested areas. Some of the best examples of sub-tropical dry forest in the Caribbean can be found on refuge lands. The marine environment surrounding the refuge contains coral reefs and sea grass beds.

The refuge and its surrounding waters are home to at least five plants and ten animals on the Federal Endangered Species list including the Antillean Manatee, the Brown Pelican and four species of sea turtles (Green, Loggerhead, Hawksbill and the Leatherback).

In addition to its ecological value, the refuge contains important resources of archeological and historic significance and legacies of the Taino culture and sugar cane era.

Financial Impact

  • Currently twelve person staff.
  • Year round visitation.

Refuge Objectives

  • To maintain this rare local subtropical dry forest habitat and wetlands ecosystem for resident and migratory birds and rare and endangered species.
  • To protect historical and archeological resource sites.
  • To provide a safe environment for people to enjoy wildlife oriented public use.

Management Tools

  • Education/interpretation.
  • Plant inventory.
  • Habitat restoration.
  • Water management.
  • Wildlife surveys.
  • Law enforcement.

Public Use Opportunities

  • Wildlife observation.
  • Nature photography.
  • Hiking.
  • Environmental education.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's mission is, working with others, to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are the only agency of the U.S. Government with that primary mission.

The Service helps protect a healthy environment for people, fish and wildlife, and helps Americans conserve and enjoy the outdoors and our living treasures. The Service's major responsibilities are for migratory birds, endangered species, certain marine mammals, and freshwater and anadromous fish.


Fact Sheet

Vieques Fact Sheet

The Vieques National Wildlife Refuges fact sheet is available in a .PDF

Last updated: September 5, 2008
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