• Beach walkway to white sandy beach and bluegreen waters

    Gulf Islands

    National Seashore FL,MS

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    Small portion of Horn Island, Mississippi, closed to entry due to discovery of asbestos and possible other bio hazards. Click on more for map and press release. More »


Northern river otter running down the white sand beach.

River otter on the beach at Fort Pickens.

Tom Messerall

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.

Two gray bottlenose dolphin with their heads out of the water.

Bottlenose dolphin spy-hopping.

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?

Murray Dorty, an African-American Union Civil War re-enactor, stands at attention inside Fort Massachusetts.

The 2nd Regiment of Louisiana Native Guards trained on Ship Island and became the first black unit on April 9, 1863 on the Gulf Frontier. They met Confederate forces in battle during a raid on Pascagoula, MS.