Seasons of Wildlife

Due to the Central Pacific location of Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, shore and seabirds can be found nesting year-round.  

Featured Species

Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is home to numerous species of unique wildlife. The low coral island is vegetated by herbs and grasses tolerant of the arid climate. It is surrounded by beaches on all sides composed of sand or coral shingle. The wildlife found in and around the island is rich with diversity ranging from a variety of birds, marine mammals, various species of reptiles, invertebrates, marine life, and flora.  

Marine Life

At least 300 species of fish have been recorded within the reefs of Johnston Atoll. Approximately 93 species of algae and 54 species of coral have also been identified at Johnston. Green sea turtles also feed within the waters of the refuge. 


The atoll is home to fourteen species of seabirds including boobies, frigatebirds, terns, petrels, noddies, and shearwaters. Johnston Island is also home to host one of the largest red-tailed tropicbirds colonies in the world with over 12,000 pairs nesting there.  Shorebirds such as the ruddy turnstone, bristle-thighed curlew, and pacific golden plover migrate through the refuge, and the pueo, or Hawaiian short-eared owl, is often found hunting smaller birds on the refuge