Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge


  • mailing: P. O. Box 1969, Manteo, North Carolina 27954
  • shipping: 708 north Highway 64, Manteo, North Carolina 27954


  • Administrative Office: 919-473-1131
  • Visitor Center: 919-987-2394
  • Fax: 919-473-1668

Directions to Refuge:

  • From Virginia Beach, Virginia, take I-64 east to US168 south to US 158 south to NC 12 south. Cross the Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet.
  • From Raleigh, take US 64 east to Nags Head, then NC 12 south.

Endangered and Threatened Species: Peregrine falcons, piping plovers,bald eagles andloggerhead sea turtles. Pea Island lies on the northern edge of the nesting range for the giantloggerhead turtles. Though there are relatively few nests laid here, they may be extremelysignificant because the sex of loggerheads is determined by the temperature at which the eggs areincubated. These northern nests may produce many of the males for the entire population!

Other Wildlife Species: Pea Island is midway on the Atlantic Flyway andis a much used andvalued feeding and resting area for numerous species of wintering waterfowl, migratingshorebirds, raptors, and wintering wading birds. Pea Island's bird list includes 265 species thatoccur with regularity and 50 species which are accidental visitors. Resident species of mammalsinclude river otter, muskrats, nutria, raccoons, opossums, minks, and both cottontail and marshrabbits.

Habitat Description: Pea Island's boundaries extend from Oregon Inletsouthward to the village of Rodanthe. The 5,915 acre refuge is comprised of ocean beach, barrierdunes, salt marshes, fresh and brackish water ponds and impoundments, as well as tidal creeksand bays. The refuge also contains 25,700 acres of Pamlico Sound waters which are closed tomigratory waterfowl hunting. The land portion of the refuge ranges in width from a few hundredyards to a half mile and in elevation from 0 to approximately 8-10 feet above sea level.

Focus Events: Wings over Water, an annual fall celebrationof wildlife and wildlands in eastern North Carolina. Call for dates.

Opportunities for Public Use: Wildlife observation, swimming, surfing,beachcombing, fishing, photography, hiking, boating, interpretive programs. PeaIsland VisitorCenter offersinterpretive wildlife exhibits, refuge and wildlife information, and a book/gift store. The Centeris open daily from 9-4 from April through November and most weekends during the wintermonths. Contact the Refuge Office for activity schedules.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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