Welcome to Wake Atoll National Wildlife Refuge! Located approximately 2,138 nautical miles west of Honolulu, Wake Atoll is the northernmost atoll in the Marshall Islands geological ridge and perhaps the oldest and northernmost living atoll in the world. The refuge includes 495,515 acres of submerged lands and waters surrounding Wake Atoll out to 12 nautical miles from the mean low water line of the islands. Despite its small land and reef areas, the atoll provides important seabird and migratory shorebird habitat, as well as vibrant coral reefs that support large populations of fishes.
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) NOTICE

Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you recreate responsibly.

  • Check alerts and local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.

Visit Us

Due to its remote location in the Pacific and to give adequate protection to its native habitat and wildlife, Wake Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is not accessible to the general public. Refuge access is solely managed through the issuance of a Special Use Permit when the activity is deemed compatible and appropriate with the purposes of refuge establishment.

Location and Contact Information

      REPORT VIOLATIONS

      Law enforcement issues should be referred to the deputy refuge manager or refuge manager.  

      You may also report violations to our "TIPS" line 1-844-FWS-TIPS (379-8477). 

      About Us

      Wake Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is located 2,138 nautical miles west of Honolulu. It is the northernmost atoll in the Marshall Islands geological ridge and perhaps the oldest and northernmost living atoll in the world. Composed of a reef-enclosed lagoon, the atoll consists of three coral islands (Peale, Wake and Wilkes), built upon an underwater volcano. The islands of the Atoll are managed as an active U.S. Air Force installation, while the refuge encompasses the submerged lands and waters from mean low tide out to the 200 nautical mile monument boundary. Wake Atoll was designated as a National Historic Landmark National Historic Landmark
      National Historic Landmark is a nationally significant historic place designated by the Secretary of the Interior because it possesses exceptional value in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. More than 2,600 places bear this designation, 10 of them on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands.

      Learn more about National Historic Landmark
      in 1985 in recognition of its role in World War II. Numerous artifacts from the war remain, perhaps the most famous being the “98 Rock,” a memorial for the 98 U.S. civilian contract POWs who were forced by their Japanese captors to rebuild the airstrip as slave labor, then blindfolded and killed by machine gun on October 5, 1943. 

      What We Do

      Refuges use a wide range of land management tools based on the best science available. Some refuges use prescribed fires to mimic natural fires that would have cleared old vegetation from the land helping native plants regenerate and local wildlife to thrive. Other refuges contain Wilderness areas where land is largely managed passively. The management tools used are aimed at ensuring a balanced conservation approach where both wildlife and people will benefit.  

      Our Species

      Wake Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is home to numerous species of unique wildlife. There have been 100 species of corals reported and abundant fish populations with at least 323 recorded species. Bird are active throughout the year to include 12 nesting seabirds and six migratory shorebirds. Wake is also home to numerous reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.

      Adult Black-footed Albatross are large seabirds though small compared with other albatross species. They are very long with narrow wings, mostly dusky brown, white at the base of their bill and under eye, and have a large bill. Juveniles are similar to adults, but usually have less white at the...

      FWS Focus
      The Whimbrel is a large shorebird with a long neck, legs and down-curved bills. They are streaked, buffy, crown dark and have a distinct light stripe in the middle. Juveniles are similar to adults, but have light spots on their back, a less distinct crown stripe, more buff breast, and finer...
      FWS Focus