Tybee National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is the refuge closed to the public?
    The refuge's small size provides minimal habitat for wildlife, however, numerous species of birds utilize the available shoreline, tidal saltwater marsh, open spoil banks, and shrubby uplands. Visitor use is not compatible with the nesting, feeding, and resting activity of the refuge birdlife since disturbance is a factor in such a limited area.

    No boat docking facilities or other amenities are located on the refuge. Though much of Tybee NWR's birdlife could easily be viewed by boat from the Savannah River, the public is not encouraged to attempt such viewing. Heavy traffic in the Savannah River, combined with treacherous currents, make navigation to the refuge hazardous.

  • What kind of wildlife is found on Tybee NWR?
    Least terns, black skimmers, Wilson's plovers, and several other shorebird species have nested on the spoil deposits on Tybee NWR during the spring and summer. During all seasons, the refuge's shoreline and open spoil deposits are used as resting sites for brown pelicans, gulls, terns, and many other species. With the use of telescopes, many birdwatchers do observe the refuge birdlife from levees located across the river within Fort Pulaski National Monument.

  • What are the refuge's most common plants?
    Sandy portions of the island are covered with only sparse vegetation. The more stable portions of the island are vegetated with such woody species as eastern red cedar, wax myrtle, salt cedar, and groundsel bush. The marsh areas surrounding the island are dominated by salt marsh cordgrass.


Last updated: April 20, 2009