Presquile National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia was established in 1953 to conserve habitat for migratory birds.

Visit Us

Presquile National Wildlife Refuge is an island located in the James River. There are no hard-line phones or mail service on the refuge. The refuge can be visited during refuge sponsored events and by pre-arranged permit. Advanced reservations are required prior to visiting. People wishing to visit the island by permit are to make a request by contacting the refuge office location at least three business days prior to the proposed date of visit. In most cases, boat transportation and launch locations are to be secured by the permittee. The refuge does not have a mainland launching facility or provide access other than during special events. When visiting please be mindful of the elements. Dress appropriately for the weather and bring sufficient water.

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Presquile National Wildlife Refuge was officially established in 1953 “for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds.” It is an important stopover site to migratory birds as they travel up and down the Atlantic Flyway. In addition, the island refuge provides protected breeding habitat for State-listed threatened and endangered species, as well as many neo-tropical migrating bird species. Hundreds of native plant and animal species thrive in the isolated wetland, forest, and grassland habitats.

      What We Do

      Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It drives everything on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters managed within the Refuge System, from the purposes for which a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
      A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

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      is established to the recreational activities offered to the resource management tools used. Using conservation best practices, the Refuge System manages Service lands and waters to help ensure the survival of native wildlife species. 

      The refuge manages its forests and wetlands through a variety of different methods. Mechanical removal, mowing, prescribed burns, and herbicide applications are used to restore and maintain the integrity of these habitats. Tree planting is utilized to promote restoration of forest lands.

      Our Species

      Presquile National Wildlife Refuge is one of many important migratory bird stopover sites along the Atlantic Flyway, providing protected breeding habitat for State-listed threatened and endangered species, as well as many neotropical migrant bird species. The refuge offers an abundance of quality habitats that support nesting American black ducks, prothonotary warblers, clapper rails, and spotted turtles in high numbers. Presquile habitat consists of tidal swamp forest, mixed mesic forest, and freshwater marches.

      Projects and Research

      Presquile National Wildlife Refuge offers a mix of operational and recreational activities that focus heavily on protecting native resources, restoring natural habitats, and engaging with the public. We support water quality initiatives adjacent to refuge and provide over 1,300 acres of natural habitat for native flora and fauna species to thrive.

      The limited staff of the refuge is able to do this through work with a wide variety of governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and individuals. The union of multiple organizations allow our expanded team to better understand and manage for the natural and cultural resources of the island, as well as engage with the public in meaningful ways.