Wildlife & Habitat


Due to the remoteness and dynamic nature of Shell Keys National Wildlife Refuge shorebirds are the only wildlife readily encountered.

In the past, Shell Keys National Wildlife Refuge has supported large colonies of colonial nesting seabirds, although very limited. Due to erosion from hurricanes and other storms only one islet, composed almost entirely of seashells, remains. Birds known to nest here include royal terns, sandwich terns, black skimmers, and laughing gulls. In addition, the islet is used as a loafing area by white pelicans, brown pelicans, and various other species of terns and gulls. Recent hurricanes and storms have eroded the island to such an extent that no known nesting has occurred since 1992.