Wildlife & Habitat

Black-bellied Whistling Ducklings by James Purvis

The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is an important link in the chain of wildlife refuges along the Atlantic Flyway, attracting thousands of migratory birds annually. The refuge also provides nesting habitat for wood ducks, purple gallinules, bald eagles, anhingas, and swallow-tailed kites, among others.

  • Purple Gallinule


    A beautifully colored bird of southern and tropical wetlands, the purple gallinule can be seen at Savannah NWR during the summer months, walking on top of floating vegetation or clambering through dense shrubs.

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  • American Alligator

    American alligator

    A member of the crocodile family, the American alligator is a living fossil from the Age of Reptiles, having survived on earth for 200 million years. It is vitally important to the alligator's survival that visitors view them from a distance and under no circumstances ever feed them.

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  • Bobcat


    The only "large" cat in the area, the bobcat is very elusive and primarily nocturnal.  However, it is not uncommon for refuge visitors to report sightings along the wildlife drive.

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  • Managed Freshwater Impoundments


    The refuge's 3,000-acre managed impoundment system provides high-quality habitat for an abundance of wildlife, most notably large concentrations of wintering waterfowl.

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  • Tidal Freshwater Marsh


    The tidal freshwater marsh of Savannah NWR supports an extremely diverse plant community, providing food, cover, and nesting habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species.

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  • Bottomland Hardwoods


    The River's backyard is a complex floodplain forest habitat called bottomland hardwoods.  Savannah NWR preserves a remnant of vast bottomland hardwoods that once extended 150 miles up the Savannah River.


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  • Pollinators


    Pollinating animals, including bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and others, are vital to our delicate ecosystem, supporting terrestrial wildlife, providing healthy watershed, and more.

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