Refuge Wildlife Basics


Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and its surrounding waters support many species of resident and migratory fish, wildlife, and marine mammals. The fish and wildlife populations are influenced by a number of factors: the refuge’s location along the Atlantic Flyway for waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, and neotropical migratory songbirds; the ocean to the east of the refuge, the brackish water to the west of the refuge; and the nature of the habitat on the refuge. Of the species on the refuge, 34 species are fish; 315 are birds; 32 are reptiles and amphibians; 21 are terrestrial mammals, 8 are marine mammals, and 20 are other aquatic organisms. The refuge supports wildlife species that are important from both a regional and a national standpoint. Its position in the middle of the Atlantic Flyway and its diverse habitats makes it a haven for species that require special environments, such as the threatened species piping plover, and loggerhead and green sea turtles.