Resource Management

Quillayute Needles / Sam Beebe, Ecotrust

Collectively Quillayute Needles, along with Flattery Rocks and Copalis National Wildlife Refuges, are referred to as the Washington Islands National Wildlife Refuges and total over 430 acres. They are managed to preserve and protect habitat for seabirds and other wildlife.


The isolation of these islands offers a multitude of seabirds and sea mammals protection from human disturbance and terrestrial predators to maintain healthy populations. Like an iceberg, these islands are the visible part of a vast, complex life-supporting structure. Although the islands themselves do not move, the surrounding waters move with currents and tides bringing nourishing resources that sustains the local inhabitants. These islands support the majority of all the nesting seabirds on the outer coast of Washington. Some of the birds that use the islands include: common murres, Leach’s storm-petrels, rhinoceros auklets, and Cassin’s auklets. Sea mammals include: California sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, and Stellar sea lions.

The Refuge primarily monitors these wildlife populations through aerial surveys. Additionally, Refuge staff collaborate with the staffs of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and Olympic National Park on research programs and other issues that may have impacts on the resources.

The Copalis, Flattery Rocks and Quillayute Needles Refuges, parts of which are designated as the Washington Islands Wilderness, are closed to visitation to protect wildlife and other natural, cultural, and other resources consistent with the conservation purposes of the refuges.