• Beach walkway to white sandy beach and bluegreen waters

    Gulf Islands

    National Seashore FL,MS

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  • Partial Closure on Horn Island

    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?

WWII dog trainers at Cat Island, Mississippi located at Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Because of the tropical-like conditions, the U. S. Army established the Cat Island War Dog Training Camp in south Mississippi during World War II. A variety of dog breeds were trained to guard, deliver messages, and attack the enemy. Cat Island is part of Gulf Islands National Seashore.