Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge Will Extend the Winter Closure Period for Portions of the Refuge

Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge Manager Mike Hoff announced today that the winter closure will remain in effect on the portion of the refuge beyond the Dike Gate on Mackay Island Road. No access will be permitted on the roads and trails beyond the Dike Gate until Memorial Day weekend. Please check back for updates Memorial Day weekend.

Refuge staff have observed 4 active eagle nests on Mackay Island, tying last year's record. Bald eagles are no longer considered a threatened species and were removed from the Endangered Species Act in 2007 but they still retain protections under other federal laws including the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Many local eagles are now reaching maturity and looking to nest for the first time. Nesting sites can be more difficult for these territorial birds to find. Two nesting pairs have been found next to the trails/roads beyond the Dike Gate and the extended closure in this area will provide them the protection required under federal laws.

The remainder of the Refuge will remain unaffected by this extended closure with the Office area opening Monday through Friday until 4 PM starting March 15, 2023 for fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and wildlife photography.

Story Tags