National Wildlife Refuge
Susan Silander, Project Leader
Teresa Tallevast, Refuge Manager
P.O. Box 190
Culebra, PR 00775
Phone: 787/742 0115
Fax: 787/742 1303
* Established: 1909. Portions of the
Culebra Archipelago were
deisgnated as a wildlife reserve
in 1909 subject to naval and
lighthouse purposes. Numerous
islands of the archipelago as well
as the Flamenco Peninsula were
used for gunnery and bombing
practice by the U.S. Navy until
their departure in 1976. The
following year, jurisdiction of
those areas was tr: -i rr. -' Ito
the Commonwealth of Puerto
Rico and the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service. On-site
administration for the Refuge
was established in 1983.
Approximately one quarter of the
Culebra archipelago's total land
mass in now included within the
* Acres: 1,510.
* Location: the refuge office is
located in Lower Camp, a short
drive from Culebra airport.
* Administered under Caribbean
Island NWRs complex.
* The refuge is comprised of lands
on the main island of Culebra and
22 smaller islands in the
* The refuge contains diverse
habitats including tropical dry
forest, mangroves, and
* The refuge supports a tropical
island fauna and flora
representative of the most
healthy coastal resources
viewable in Puerto Rico today.
The absence of development in
refuge units protects fragile
marine ecosystems from damage
by erosion and sedimentation,
helping to keep surrounding
waters clear. While our trust
resources benefit, visitors can
enjoy spectacular views both
above and below the water line.
* The largest seabird nesting
colony occurs at Peninsula
Flamenco, where 50,000 Sooty
* Mount Resaca contains the
largest remaining forest, an area
of rock-strewn canyons and
ravines forming a unique habitat
known as the boulder forest.
* Leatherback and hawksbill sea
turtles use refuge beaches
Financial Impact of Refuge
* Two-person staff.
* 40,000 visitors annually.
To protect and manage significant
seabird colonies and endangered
marine turtles, as well as restore and
protect native tropical vegetative
* Environmental education/
* Law enforcement.
* Wildlife surveys.
Public Use Opportunities
* Hiking, wildlife observation, and
nature photography are available
(boat access only) on Cayo Luis
Pena and Isla Culebrita daily
from sunrise to sunset. Water
taxis in town offer transportation.
There are no facilities present so
please go prepared with adequate
water and sunblock. The
Culebrita lighthouse is closed to
the public because of the
dangerous condition of the
building. Do not enter!
* All other refuge lands are closed
to the public because of their
sensitive nature or unexploded
Calendar of Events
October: National Wildlife Refuge
*I.br Naioa Widlf Refug
Questions and Answers
Does the refuge have an office for
An office is located in Lower Camp, a
short drive from Culebra airport.
Are sea turtles found in the '*'... I..I
of the refuge?
Yes, leatherback and hawksbill sea
turtles nest on Culebra beaches, and
the adjacent seagrass beds provide
shelter and food for green sea turtles.
Is it true that seabirds nest on the
refuge in large numbers?
A nesting colony of approximately
50,000 Sooty Terns is located at the
Peninsula Flamenco unit; however, it
is closed to the public due to its
sensitive nature. Offshore cays also
provide a variety of habitat types for
13 species of seabirds, most
numerous during the summer.