Animals

During winter months, dozens of seals can be seen sunning themselves on a spitbar on the bay side of Sandy Hook Unit. They don't like it when humans get too close, so bring binoculars. To find out more about Gateway's mammals, click the photo.

During winter months, dozens of seals can be seen sunning themselves on a spitbar on the bayside of Sandy Hook Unit. They don't like humans to get too close, so bring binoculars. For more about mammals at Gateway, click the photo.

NPS PHOTO

Natural environments in an urban area

From delicate butterflies to majestic eagles to seals on their winter migration, Gateway provides habitat for a diverse array of animals. These include hundreds of varieties of birds during spring and fall migration season, but also mammals, amphibians, reptiles, insects and "other" creatures like the horseshoe crab.

Some tips for seeing wildlife

When you enter these creatures' homes, do so with respect. Keep your distance. Do nothing that might startle them or drive them from their home or their young. Stress will hurt their chances of survival. They may not be able to protect their young or not get enough to eat or put themselves in danger.

Our animals are free to roam, so there is never a guarantee you will see certain animals during your visit. But there are ways to increase your chances of encountering animals. Avoid making loud noises or fast movements, which can frighten animals away. Animals also avoid tobacco smoke. If you see an animal, maintain a distance of 75 feet and watch with binoculars. This will keep both you and the animal safe.

Protect wildlife: it's the law!

Some of our animals and plants are protected by state and federal laws as well as park regulations, which protect the park's ecosystems and the creatures which inhabit them. Please join other park visitors in obeying signs and permit conditions.

Read about one park visitor's experience with wildlife.

 

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