Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

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Listed in Wildlife Refuges

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Chincoteague Island
Chincoteague Ponies
Location: Virginia
Type of Animal Served: Wildlife, Birds, Horses and Ponies
Hours of Operation:
The refuge is open 7 days a week from:

5:00 A.M. - 10:00 P.M. from May through September.
6:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M. from November through March.
6:00 A.M. - 8:00 P.M. the months of March, April and October.

The Visitor Center is open 7 days a week from:

9:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. October 1 - April 30
9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. May 1 - September 30
*Closed Christmas and New Year's Day

The Administrative Office hours:

8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday
Closed on all Federal Holidays
Chincoteague Ponies

The modern-day descendants of those domestic horses are wild and have adapted to their environment. Prior to the refuge's establishment in 1943, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company purchased the ponies and continues ownership to this day. The Firemen are allowed to graze up to 150 ponies on refuge land through a Special Use Permit from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
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Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most visited refuges in the United States, providing visitors with outstanding opportunities to learn about and enjoy wildlands and wildlife.

Chincoteague Refuge includes more than 14,000 acres of beach, dunes, marsh, and maritime forest. Established in 1943 to provide habitat for migratory birds (with an emphasis on conserving greater snow geese), the refuge today provides habitat for waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, and song birds as well as other species of wildlife and plants. The refuge also provides wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities such as fishing, hunting, wildlife photography and observation, interpretation, and environmental education. More info here:

We encourage you to start your visit at the Herbert H. Bateman Educational and Administrative Center. There are a variety of exhibits, displays, brochures and wildlife-oriented programs. Refuge staff and volunteers are available to answer questions and help plan activities.

Videos are shown by request daily in the visitor center auditorium, and programs on a variety of topics are offered during the summer. Inquire at the information desk for further details.

The gift shop, with a selection of books, clothing items, and jewelry, is located in the refuge visitor center and is run by the Chincoteague Natural History Association.

The Herbert H. Bateman Educational and Administrative Center is open 7 days a week. The hours are:

9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. October 1 – April 30
9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. May 1 – September 30
*Closed Christmas and New Year’s Day

8231 Beach Road
Chincoteague Island, VA 23336
Telephone: 757-336-6122

Pets are Prohibited, even in your vehicle.

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