Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge contains some of the most important wildlife habitat in the mid-Atlantic region. At near 113,000 acres, the refuge is the largest intact remnant of a vast swamp that once covered more than one million acres.

Location and Contact Information

      Our Species

      Wildlife thrives here and plant life abounds. It's a home and a stopover for about 47 species of mammals, 200 birds, 96 species of butterflies, and much more. The diverse ecosystem boasts communities ranging from bald cypress to red maple and the globally rare Atlantic white cedar. 

      An adult American black bear in a forest

      In the East, nearly black; in the West, black to cinnamon, with white blaze on chest. A "blue" phase occurs near Yakutat Bay, Alaska, and a nearly white population on Gribble Island, British Columbia, and the neighboring mainland. Snout tan or grizzled; in profile straight or slightly convex. 3...

      FWS Focus
      Two red cockaded woodpeckers face each other on a tree limb with pine needles and blue sky visible in the background

      22 cm. Rather small black-and-white woodpecker with longish bill. Above black barred white. Below white with black spots on flanks. Black crown, nape and moustachial stripe border white cheeks and side of neck. Male has small red mark on the side of nape. Juvenile browner with variable extent of...

      FWS Focus

      Get Involved

      National wildlife refuges partner with volunteers, youth groups, landowners, neighborhoods and local community members to make a lasting difference. Getting involved at Great Dismal Swamp NWR is a great opportunity to learn new skills and help conserve our public lands. With a variety of opportunities in a wide range of programs, anything from visitor services to habitat management, there is a place for everyone. 

      Projects and Research

      Great Dismal Swamp NWR participates in several on-going regional and national research projects. These include collecting data on hydrological conditions, wildlife populations, forest habitats, invasive species invasive species
      An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

      Learn more about invasive species
      , and wildfire. Researchers from universities and other organizations are also welcome to submit proposals for research on the wildlife refuge.