Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement Warden Paul Kroegel

Kroegel was commissioned as the first Federal Warden of the Island and paid $12 a year to carry out his duties. Warden Kroegel defended his pelicans with a badge, a double-barreled shotgun, and a small boat.

The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System Law Enforcement program is:
"Through Education and enforcement we protect our employees, volunteers, and visitors; safeguard the public’s investment in facilities and equipment; and protect the integrity of the habitat and the wildlife resources of the National trust resource which is the 150 million acre National Wildlife Refuge System.”

Pelican Island is actively patrolled by Federal Wildlife Officers whose priority enforcement activities take place on National Wildlife Refuge System lands and waters.

ALL federal, state, and local laws and regulations are applicable on Refuge System lands and waters. Some of the laws specific to the National Wildlife Refuge System, as well as specific Refuges can be found in the Title 50 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
The Code of Federal Regulations can be accessed here:

To report wildlife emergencies, violations or injured wildlife call 888-404-FWCC (3922)
Please report all suspicious activity or violations on the Refuge to refuge law enforcement
by calling
(772) 581-5557 or 1 (844) NWR-TIPS (697-8477) 
In case of an emergency call 911


Timely reporting of suspicious activity or violations of the law is important to reducing crime on the Refuge. Vigilant Refuge visitors are an invaluable resource for crime prevention. When calling in a violation please remember to provide as much information as possible including, who, persons and vehicles involved, what happened and how, and when and where the crime took place. If you have a camera available and it is safe to do so please take a picture of the event and share it with us.

For more information visit our regional law enforcement website here: