There is an opportunity to see land and sea mammals at Gulf Islands National Seashore. You can spot bottlenose dolphins from the beaches or see cotton rats, foxes, beavers, armadillos, raccoons and river otters at the Fort Pickens Area. The endangered Perdido Key Beach Mouse is found only on Perdido Key and the Santa Rosa Beach Mouse inhabits areas on Santa Rosa Island.
Carrie S. Barry
Raccoons, squirrels, armadillos, river otters, swamp rabbits, nutrias, and black rats can be seen in the Davis Bayou Area in the Mississippi District. Atlantic bottle-nose dolphins are often seen while taking the passenger ferry from Gulfport, MS to West Ship Island.
Most mammals are terrestrial but some, including manatees, whales, and dolphins live in the water. Other mammals, like seals, come to land only to breed.
Did You Know?
Gulf Islands National Seashore's Fort Massachusetts, on West Ship Island 12 miles off the Mississippi coastline, was covered by the 30-foot storm surge from Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. The fort has been reopened to the public.