About the Refuge

About Refuge 512x219

The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1937 as a "refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife".  The Okefenokee is like no other place on earth, where natural beauty and wilderness prevail.  The vision for Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is to protect and enhance wildlife and its habitat, ensure integrity of the ecological system, and embrace the grandeur, mystery, and cultural heritage that lead to an enrichment of the human spirit.


Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge conserves the unique qualities of the Okefenokee Swamp for future generations to enjoy.  The swamp is considered the headwaters of the Suwannee and St Marys Rivers.  Habitats provide for threatened and endangered species, such as red-cockaded woodpecker, wood storks, indigo snakes, and a wide variety of other wildlife species.  It is world renowned for its amphibian populations that are bio-indicators of global health.  More than 600 plant species have been identified on refuge lands.  The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge has 353,981 acres of National Wilderness Area within the refuge boundaries.  In addition, the refuge is a Wetland of International Importance (RAMSAR Convention – 1971) because it is one of the world’s largest intact freshwater ecosystems.   

Fact Sheets

Okefenokee At A Glance 

Fire Management 

Greater Okefenokee Association of Landowners (GOAL)

Okefenokee Carbon

Red-cockaded Woodpeckers


Upland Forest Management

Visitor Services and Ecotourism


Wildlife Management

World Heritage Site