Wildlife & Habitat


The Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge helps protect the largest undeveloped estuary along the Atlantic Coast, with rich bottomland hardwoods and fresh and salt water marsh offering food and cover to a variety of wildlife.  ACE Basin stands for the Ashepoo, Combahee, and  Edisto Rivers, which form the estuary and parts of the Refuge boundary. The entire basin encompasses more than 350,000 acres, of which the Refuge comprises just less than 12,000 acres.


  • American Alligators

    American Alligator

    American Alligators are frequently seen sunning on the dikes or edges of the water, and snakes and lizards are commonly seen during the warmer months. 

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  • Wood Storks

    Woodstorks in pond

    Wood storks are commonly seen feeding in refuge impoundments along with other water birds, including herons, egrets, and ibis. 

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  • Other Animals


    Other commonly seen wildlife species include raccoon, bobcats, deer, opossums, foxes, and feral hogs. 

  • Habitats

    Painted Bunting

    Upland fields are managed for neotropical migratory songbirds, such as the Painted Bunting. 

    Refuge impoundments are managed for wintering waterfowl and migratory shorebirds.