• Hours

    Refuge Hours

    The refuge is open from 6am to 8pm, 7 days a week. Visitor Center hours are 9am to 4pm, 7 days a week.

    Contact Info, Hours & Directions

  • Wildlife Viewing

    Recent Bird Sightings

    This list shows data from eBird Trail Tracker. Since many refuge locations are included, one species may be listed multiple times.

    Recent Bird Sightings

  • Over sand vehicle icon.

    Virginia OSV Zone Status

    All OSV status updates for the Virginia portion of Assateague Island are posted in real time via the twitter account @ChincoteagueOsv.

    Click for OSV Zone Status Site

  • Monarch with Boy

    Refuge Newsletter

    Read the annual update about happenings around the refuge!

    January 2018 Newsletter (pdf 259KB)

Around the Refuge

It's Volunteer Month!

NWR Vols 3

During April we celebrate the impact of volunteer service in our community and inspire others to action throughout National Volunteer Month. Volunteers selflessly lend their time, talent, and voice to the conservation of wildlife by connecting visitors to nature. Assisting with monarch butterfly tagging and bird surveying, maintaining wildlife gardens, welcoming visitors at the Visitor Centers, and conducting trail maintenance are just a few ways volunteers learn new skills, meet new people, and have fun. Some work full-time, a few hours a week or month, seasonally, or during a special event. Take a moment this month to thank someone who is making a difference and become a volunteer yourself. On Wednesday, April 17, at 8:30am, join the trash pick-up along Route 175 on Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge or contact Laurel Wilkerson, Volunteer Coordinator, for future volunteer opportunities at 757-336-6122, Ext. 2310.

Protecting Nesting Shorebirds

Nesting AMOY 150x118 Jim Duffy

For Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge spring heralds the return of migratory birds such as piping plovers, American oystercatchers and least terns. Many of the birds who spend summers here also nest on the beach or in the marshes. Some of these bird populations are also declining in numbers and are federally protected, for instance the threatened piping plover. To give these birds a chance at survival we create nesting sanctuaries by closing Toms Cove Hook and Assawoman Island. From March 15 to September 15 we ask that you help us protect nesting shorebirds by staying out of these sensitive areas.

Learn more about piping plovers.

Winner Announced!

2019 JDS BOS PROMO (150x118)

Congratulations to Steven Liu age 14 for winning Virginia's Best of Show in the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest! Steven's entry, featuring emperor geese now moves on to the national contest which will be held on Friday, April 19 at Patuxent Research Refuge in Maryland. See below for the complete list of contest winners. Want to see more stunning entries? Starting this week, our "Duck of the Day" social media showcase is back. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter throughout the year where we'll feature each piece of art from the 2019 Virginia contest.

2019 Virginia Winner's List
Looking Forward

Beach Relocation Planning

New Beach Experience (Promo 150x118)

A third collaborative, recreational beach planning workshop was held with local, state and federal partners in May 2017 to continue refining design concepts at the new recreational beach location, 1.5 miles north of the current recreational beach. Funding is currently unavailable. More materials available at FHWA Website: https://flh.fhwa.dot.gov/projects/va/chin-10/

2017 Beach Relocation Update (pdf 266KB)

About the Complex

Chincoteague NWR Complex

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Chincoteague NWR Complex .

Read more about the complex
About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS