Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

Fish and Wildlife Service, Alabama.


Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge was established by Congress in 1980 for the protection of neotropical migratory songbird habitat and threatened and endangered species.  Bon Secour represents an important stopover and staging habitat for neotropical migratory songbirds during the fall and spring migration along the Alabama coastline. Migratory birds utilize this area for resting and building fat reserves critical to successful migration. 

The refuge also provides crucial habitat for the endangered Alabama beach mouse that inhabits the beach dune and scrub/shrub habitats found along the Fort Morgan Peninsula.  Beach mice have experienced a substantial reduction in available habitat, primarily due to coastal development.  Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge protects the last remaining undisturbed beach mouse habitat found in Alabama, consisting of several key plant communities that form a mosaic of micro-habitats.   

Loggerhead, green, and Kemp's Ridley sea turtles nest on Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge beaches. Conservation strategies to protect these turtles under the Endangered Species Act include on-site nest monitoring and protection, as well as fostering a public ethic through educational programs.

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is aimed at protecting and preserving these unique habitats and associated wildlife for generations to come. The refuge also serves as a living laboratory for students and scientists, and provides wildlife oriented public recreation.

Each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System is established to serve a statutory purpose that targets the conservation of native species dependent on its lands and waters. All activities on those acres are reviewed for compatibility with this statutory purpose. 

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge was established through both legislative and administrative authorities.

The purposes of the refuge are listed as:

“... to ensure the well-being of these (nationally endangered and threatened species, such as the brown pelican, bald eagle, and several species of sea turtles, as well as many more species identified by the state to be of special concern) and other species, to serve as a living laboratory for scientists and students and to provide wildlife-oriented recreation for the public.”  94 Stat. 483, dated June 9, 1980(Act to establish the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge)

“ conserve an undisturbed beach/dune ecosystem which includes a diversity of fish and wildlife, and their habitat.” 94 Stat. 484, dated June 9, 1980
(Act to establish the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge)

“ conserve (A) fish or wildlife which are listed as endangered species or threatened species...or (B) plants...” 16 U.S.C. 1534 (Endangered Species Act of 1973)

“...for the development, advancement, management, conservation, and protection of fish and wildlife resources...”
16 U.S.C 742f(a)(4) (Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956)

“...for the benefit of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in performing its activities and services. Such acceptance may be subject to the terms of any restrictive or affirmative covenant, or condition of servitude...” 16 U.S.C. 742f(b)(1) (Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956)

“...for conservation purposes..."
7 U.S.C. 2002. (Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act)  



Nearby Activities


The Refuge Office and Visitor Center is located on State Highway 180 on the Fort Morgan Peninsula in Gulf Shores, Alabama. You can reach the refuge by the ferry from the west side of Mobile Bay or driving through Mobile and heading south to Gulf Shores. 

Additional Information

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