Wildlife & Habitat


At Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge, the fish and wildlife species and the habitats are closely connected to each other and the soils, shallow water tables, and flooding frequency on the refuge. The different wetland habitats on the refuge support different suites of wildlife species.

Below are links to key wildlife species and habitat types on this refuge.  For more details, you may download the Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan or the Habitat Management Plan.

  • Swainson's Warbler


    Swainson’s Warblers reside on Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge from April through October, nesting in the river cane understories of bottomland hardwood forests.

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  • Yellow-crowned Night-Heron


    Yellow-crowned Night-Herons live in forested swamps or forested uplands along the Roanoke River. 

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  • Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Lewis X150

    Wood Ducks are resident species on the Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge.  They live forested swamps and nest in trees near open water.

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  • Birds


    Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge offers resting, nesting, and feeding areas for many bird species.

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  • Other Wildlife Species


    Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge and its surrounding waters support many species of resident and migratory fish and wildlife. The fish and wildlife populations are influenced by a number of factors: the Refuge’s location along the Atlantic Flyway for waterfowl, wading birds, and neotropical migratory songbirds, and the nature of the habitat on the Refuge.

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  • Habitat Types


    The Roanoke River is a typical southeastern United States alluvial system that has formed forested swamps in the Coastal Plain region. From Weldon to Scotland Neck, the Roanoke River floodplain is relatively narrow with some locations only a mile wide. The natural levees and ridges alternate with sloughs and backswamps in rapid succession.

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