The islands are more than a place to enjoy a warm summer’s day. For sea turtles and many shore birds, the beaches are a nursery for their young. Some endangered plants, such as Seabeach Amaranth, only grow on specific areas of the dunes. The wild horses of Shackleford depend exclusively on the resources of their island to survive.
The National Park Service must balance the needs of those who use the islands for recreation with the needs of those who use them for survival. For this reason, the park’s resource management staff spends most of the spring and summer monitoring and marking the areas needed by nesting shore birds and sea turtles as well as endangered plant species. The Shackleford horses are monitored all year.
Below are links to reports that tell us how we are doing in sharing the islands with those who need them for survival. The reports are available in pdf format and are listed in tables. This part of the website is best accessed by computer rather than mobile device or screen reader.