Refuge Wildlife Basics

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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.