Guided Canoe Tours available!

Wings Over Water
November 7-12, 2006

Other North Carolina National Wildlife Refuges

Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan - Final will be out soon!!!

Alligator River
Cedar Island
Mackay Island
Pee Dee
Pocosin Lakes
Roanoke River

flying blue goose

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Home PageRefuge StaffContact us for additional informationDirections and mapWhat we do for people!What we do for wildlifeCalendar of Special EventsRefuge RegulationsFrequently asked questionsRecent News ReleasesRefuge Newsletter:  WingsVolunteer ProgramRefuge InternshipsRefuge Publications (pdf files)Kuralt Trail:  On the Refuge RoadPlanning Office for Refuges in Eastern NCJoin our Friends group:  Coastal Wildlife Refuge SocietyRed Wolf Recovery ProgramWings Over WaterCool educational sites for students and teachers!
last updated
June 12, 2006

Refuge Regulations - pdf file
Bonner Bridge Replacement Information

Refuge Facts

  • Established: May 17, 1937.
  • Size: 5,834 acres (land), 25,700 acres (Proclamation Boundary Waters).
  • Located on the north end of Hatteras Island, a coastal barrier island and part of a chain of islands known as the Outer Banks.
  • Approximately 13 miles long (north to south) and ranges from a quarter mile to 1 mile wide (from east to west).
  • Location: 10 miles south of Nags Head, North Carolina on NC 12.
  • Administered by Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge as a part of complex; Alligator River Manager supervises the Mackay Island, Currituck, and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Managers.
  • The Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan for Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is in the process of being formulated. We encourage public involvement in this process. Please contact the Refuge or, visit the Comprehensive Conservation Plan Home Page for more information.

Marbled Godwits and Willetts (Mike Halminski)

Natural History

  • Area was historically used for market waterfowl hunting, commercial fishing, farming, and livestock operations.
  • Refuge is comprised of ocean beach, dunes, upland, fresh and brackish water ponds, salt flats, and salt marsh.
  • Bird list boasts more than 365 species; wildlife list has 25 species of mammals, 24 species of reptiles, and 5 species (low number due to salt environment) of amphibians.
  • Concentrations of ducks, geese, swans, wading birds, shore birds, raptors, neotropical migrants are seasonally abundant on refuge.
  • Refuge has 1,000 acres of manageable waterfowl impoundments.
  • Several shorebird nesting areas and wading bird rookeries are located on the refuge.
  • Endangered and threatened species include: peregrine falcons, loggerhead sea turtles, and piping plovers.
Financial Impact of the Refuge
  • 36-person staff (administers both Pea Island and Alligator River National Wildlife Refuges - see Alligator River Home Page for details....)
  • 2.7 million visitors annually.
  • Current budget (FY 03) $2,827K (Again, both refuges)
  • Numerous volunteers devote approximately 35,000 hours each year to the Refuge
  • Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is known as a ''Birder's Paradise''; birders are among the most affluent eco-tourists. Other eco-tourists include canoeists and kayakers, beachcombers, surf and sound anglers, and nature photographers.

Refuge Objectives

  • Provide nesting, resting, and wintering habitat for migratory birds, including the greater snow geese and other migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, raptors, and neotropical migrants.
  • Provide habitat and protection for endangered and threatened species.
  • Provide opportunities for public enjoyment of wildlife and wildlands resources. Public use programs focus on interpretation, environmental education, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and fishing.

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