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.

Management and Conservation

Refuges deploy a host of scientifically sound management tools to address biological challenges. These tools span active water management to wilderness character monitoring, all aimed at ensuring a balanced conservation approach to benefit both wildlife and people.  At this field station our conservation tool box includes:

Habitat Restoration: Efforts are made on an annual basis (spring) to control gull nesting success on the island. The long range goal is to re-establish a common tern nesting colony on the island.

Compatibility Determinations

Cultural Resources: Thacher Island Association volunteers maintain and interpret most of the cultural resources on the island.

Emergency and Physical Security

Invasive Species

Inventory and Monitoring

Law Enforcement

Our Projects and Research

Historically, the island served as nesting grounds for several species of terns, but over the years it has been overrun by the gulls. Still, Thacher Island has the potential to be re-established as a prime nesting area. The habitat remains ideal for tern breeding. Nesting terns are currently supported on islands strategically located to the north and south of the Thacher Island, and could be attracted to re-establish nesting colonies on the island.