Discover Wildlife in the Outer Banks

One of the things that attracts a vast number of people to visit or live in the Outer Banks is the plethora of outdoor activities available. With pristine beaches, serene forests, and avid hang gliders and scuba divers, the Outer Banks is an active hub for outdoor recreation! For that reason, we want to make sure everyone who comes to enjoy OBX nature can keep their eyes peeled for those who share it with us, the wildlife in the Outer Banks! Read on to learn more about where you can see local wildlife, and even a few programs that help sustain local populations. 

Want to learn more about what you can do on the Outer Banks? Request access to our free Vacation Guide to discover the best restaurants, events, activities, and more outdoor recreation in the area! Get the guide and start planning your getaway today. 


Wildlife in the Outer Banks

Where can you see wildlife in the Outer Banks?

Though the wildlife in the Outer Banks exists everywhere, encountering them off the side of a trail or in the water is an entirely chance encounter! You might be able to go to popular feeding spots or choose to go looking for wildlife when they are more active, but the sure-fire way to see the diverse populations of animals is by visiting a wildlife refuge. There are a few popular ones that we recommend: 

  • Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge: Despite its name, the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is home to several species of reptiles, mammals, insects, and birds. The refuge has been protecting its swamp forest since 1984 and you can spot populations of black bears, wintering waterfowl, river otters, alligators, red wolves, and more! 
  • Roanoke Island Aquarium: Explore the marine life of the Outer Banks at the Roanoke Island Aquarium! You can get up-close and personal with several aquatic animals: alligators, stingrays, otters, sharks, and even check out the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation Center! 
  • Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge: Located between Nags Head and Hatteras Island, the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is one of the more conveniently located places to view the wildlife of the Outer Banks. They specialize in migratory birds, including shorebirds, snow geese, raptors, and over 370 more species! 

How can you help support wildlife in the Outer Banks?

There are a handful of wildlife support programs that anyone can donate to. They regulate populations and provide help to the local wildlife, while spreading awareness about wildlife concerns. One of our favorite support programs is the Corolla Wild Horse Fund! The wild horses that roam our beaches are a staple image in the Outer Banks, and they take donations to help the population of wild horses thrive. Consider donating to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. 

Book Your Vacation with Paramount Destinations

While you are out and about exploring local nature and discovering the wildlife of the Outer Banks, you’re going to want a comfortable place to sleep after your long, active day. Paramount Destinations is the premier vacation rental company on the Outer Banks, offering close to 100 properties across the island! Browse our list of spacious homes and book your stay today!