Wildlife & Habitat


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the premier government agency dedicated to the conservation, protection and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats. The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 outlined the fundamental wildlife conservation mission of the Refuge System, described as ‘wildlife first’.

  • General Wildlife Information


    Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge and its surrounding waters support many species of resident and migratory fish and wildlife. The fish and wildlife populations are influenced by a number of factors: the refuge’s location along the Atlantic Flyway for waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, and neotropical migratory songbirds; the brackish water surrounding the refuge; and the nature of the habitat on the refuge.

    Mackay Island NWR is located in the Atlantic Flyway, which is a critical ecoregion for migrating and wintering dabbling ducks, wood ducks, and geese in North America

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  • Birds


    The refuge attracts tens of thousands of mallards, teal, gadwall, and wood ducks during the winter. Waterfowl utilize the moist soil habitats along with the mesic and coastal fringe forest.Of the species on the refuge, 187 species are birds. Conservation agencies and organizations have listed many bird species as high priority or rare and of special concern.

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  • Habitat Types


    The three natural communities within the refuge boundary are: tidal freshwater marsh, estuarine fringe loblolly pine forest, and mesic pine flatwoods. Other habitats have been altered or created by man.

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