Block Island National Wildlife Refuge is unique in several ways. Unlike Rhode Island’s other four refuges, it is not located on the mainland but rather 12 miles off the state’s southern shore on Block Island. This refuge is distinctive because it works closely with other conservation organizations in an effort to protect land. Most importantly, the refuge is exceptional because of its location on an internationally recognized island, especially for wildlife conservation.

Block Island Refuge is primarily upland, except for beach habitat at Cow Cove, Sandy Point, West Beach, and Beane Point. Beach habitat includes beach grass, northern bayberry, wild rose, and beach plum, Upland shrub habitat includes northern arrowwood , pokeweed, Virginia creeper, northern bayberry, and pine trees.

Two federally listed species are known to breed on Block Island: the American burying beetle (endangered) and piping plover (threatened). The Service has completed recovery plans for both species.

Location and Contact Information

      Our Species

      Piping Plover

      Size: 18 cm (7.25 in) in length. Color: Breeding season: Pale brown above, lighter below; black band across forehead; bill orange with black tip; legs orange; white rump. Male: Complete or incomplete black band encircles the body at the breast. Female: Paler head band; incomplete breast band....

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      Black-crowned Night Heron
      Black-crowned Night-Heron
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      American Oystercatcher
      Identification Tips: Length: 16 inches Large shorebird Bright orange, long, thick bill Head and breast black Dark gray back and wings White belly Large white patch on inner wing White uppertail coverts and dark tail Pink legs Adult: Yellow eye Orange orbital ring Juvenile: Eye dark and orbital ring...
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      American burying beetle
      giant carrion beetle
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