Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge

715 Holgerson Rd.
Sequim, WA 98382

Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge provides some of the last remaining undeveloped habitat for many burrow-nesting seabirds in the Salish Sea, but is of particular importance to the rhinoceros auklet. Scarred by over a hundred years of farming and grazing, strafed by practice artillery fire during World War II, and carved up for a summer home subdivision in the late 1960’s, its natural significance was finally recognized in 1982 with a National Wildlife Refuge designation before irreversible damage occurred. Today the Island thrums with life as it continues to recover. It supports thriving wildlife populations, including what is thought to be the third largest rhinoceros auklet colony in North America, a nesting pair of bald eagles, one of the last two breeding sites for tufted puffins in the Salish Sea, the largest glaucous-winged gull colony in Washington state, and the first location in Washington where northern elephant seals were observed to come ashore and give birth.

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