More Park Facilities Reopen During May 2013
Watch Hill and Sailors Haven marinas open May 10. Limited ferry service from Sayville to Sailors Haven resumes May 13 and ferries from Patchogue to Watch Hill start on May 18. Remaining park facilities to reopen by May 25, 2013. More »
More than 30 species of mammals either visit or live within the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore. These mammals range in size from finback whales and other whales— which occasionally swim close to shore or wash up on the beach—to the tiny masked shrew, which though rarely seen, is very common throughout the island.
Seventeen species of terrestrial mammals were identified on Fire Island during surveys conducted in 1974.
It's interesting to note that in the mid-1970s a herd of only approximately 50 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) was reported to be maintaining itself on Fire Island, where they have no natural predators and are protected from hunting. Within a quarter of a century, that number had swelled.
Nineteen species of marine mammals—whales, porpoises and dolphins, and seals—have been recorded within the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore. The harbor seal is a regular winter visitor at both Fire Island inlets.
Three species of endangered whales may occur in the waters offshore of Fire Island: fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) and northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis).
For More Information
Recent studies and inventories of mammals on Fire Island include:
Did You Know?
The first Fire Island Lighthouse was built at the end of Fire Island in 1826. Today, the Fire Island Inlet is more than five miles west of this foundation. You can see the remnants of the first structure when you visit the present lighthouse, constructed in 1858. More...