Pet Restrictions in Effect March 15 through Labor Day
Dogs/other pets (except for service animals) are not allowed in the wilderness or on any of Fire Island's federally owned oceanfront beaches from March 15 through Labor Day to help protect threatened and endangered beach-nesting shorebirds. More »
Backcountry Camping Permit and Access Procedures
Reservations for required permits must be obtained through www.recreation.gov. Due to the breach at Old Inlet, access to both east and west wilderness camping zones must now be from Watch Hill or points west, and involve a 1½ to 8 mile hike. More »
Attention Watch Hill Ferry Passengers
Due to channel conditions, delay or cancellation of ferry service between Patchogue and Watch Hill may occur. For updated ferry schedule information, please call 631-475-1665.
Fire Island National Seashore provides diverse marine and terrestrial habitats that support a wide variety of wildlife. Every season is a good season to view Fire Island wildlife and you may be able to observe many of these animals during your excursion in the park. Some animals are seldom seen but are vital components of a healthy natural ecosystem.
One of the most exciting times to view wildlife on Fire Island is during migration. In September and October, thousands of birds and monarchs make a temporary home on the barrier beach as they rest and refuel along their southbound journey. Fire Island's sandy shores, thicket, forest, and marsh provide diverse habitat for these travelers, and the island's place along the Atlantic Flyway make it an attractive stopover for more than one-third of North America's bird species.
In winter, you may see snowy owls scanning open habitat for their small mammal prey or encounter seals hauled out on the beach. Red fox and white-tailed deer can also be observed year-round.
Whether you come to see land animals or marvel at marine life, please do so from a safe distance and help keep wildlife wild.
Did You Know?
Tiny rootlets of the American beach grass (Ammophila breviligulata) and mycorrhyzal fungi hold together the grains of sand that make up sand dunes on Fire Island. You can help protect the dunes by not walking or driving over the beach grass. More...