• 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 »

  • Shorebirds Nesting Near Roads - 20 mph

    Shorebirds are nesting near roads and cross the road regularly. Observe posted speed limits and be alert for tiny birds on the roads. Last year 155 birds were killed on park roads, help us reduce the mortality rate of these beautiful birds and go slow.

Those Roguish Raccoons

Raccoon looking out of a hollow tree.

Raccoon looking out of a hollow tree.

Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are easily identified by their black eye masks and bushy ringed tails. They are thought to have over 200 communication sounds! There is evidence from fossils that suggest the raccoon inhabited the U.S. as far back as one million years and has changed very little.

In the wild, these mostly nocturnal animals live about three to eight years. They are omnivorous, eating fish, frogs, and insects and also fruit, berries and nuts. Raccoons are highly intelligent and have a well know reputation for their curiosity and clever nighttime raids. With their almost hand-like front paws and long, thin mobile fingers, these agile climbers can learn to open jars, cans and latches, turn on faucets, untie knots, turn doorknobs and get into all kinds of fun and mischievousness.

They especially love camper's sweet foods and drinks. So please take extra care and do not feed the animals. Securely store all food and scented items in containers and coolers. Pack them away inside closed vehicles and campers. Try to keep dumpster lids closed at all times.

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.