• Cape Lookout Lighthouse from Barden Inlet

    Cape Lookout

    National Seashore North Carolina

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  • ORV Plan Comment Period Extended

    On May 23, 2014, the NPS released a Environmental Impact Statement for its Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan for a 60-day comment period, which was extended to September 4. The comment period will be extend an additional 15 days until September 19, 2014.


Loggerhead Sea Turtle Hatchlings

Loggerhead Sea Turtle hatchlings crawling out of a nest protected by an exclosure grate.

Cape Lookout National Seashore

Not all of the animals of Cape Lookout National Seashore are found on land.

The waters surrounding the park are feeding grounds for marine mammals and sea turtles. Four sea turtle species - Loggerhead, Green, Kemp's Ridley, and Leatherback - are sometimes seen feeding in area waters. Only the Loggerhead sea turtle regularly nests on the park's beaches during the summer months. The others are found only as juveniles or are just passing through.

Great Egret

A Great Egret catching dinner

Cape Lookout National Seashore

Birds are the most easily observed animals in the park. Spring and Fall migration brings a number of different species through the park. Stormy weather can drive a few pelagic birds in from the open ocean for a visit. In summer, a number of tern species, egrets, black skimmers, herons, piping plovers and other shorebirds nest within the park's boundaries.

Mammals are uncommon on the islands; rice rats, rabbits, river otters, and raccoons are some of the native species found here. On Shackleford Banks is a population of horses that has gone wild and adapted to their environment over the past few hundred years.

Although salt and brackish water environments dominate the islands, a few fresh water habitats support tree frogs and Fowler's toads. While diamond-back terrapins prefer the salt marsh areas, the grasslands are the preferred habitat for five-lined racerunner lizards and black racer snakes.


More information on the health of the wildlife at Cape Lookout can be found in the annual reports on the Wildlife Management webpage.


Species Lists for Cape Lookout National Seashore

These species lists have been compiled based on in field observations, specimen collections, and literary records. They are the most complete records we have available at this time.

CALO Species Fact Sheet (12 KB, pdf)

CALO Bird Species List (119 KB, pdf)

CALO Terrestrial Mammal Species List (15 KB, pdf)

CALO Marine Mammal Species List (42 KB, pdf)

CALO Reptile and Amphibian Species List (22 KB, pdf)

Did You Know?

Shorebird Nest

Unlike bird nests in trees, shorebird nests are simple depressions in the sand, called “scrapes”. These nests look much like the rest of the beach. Cape Lookout National Seashore More...