Great Island is a remote natural island located in northern Pamlico Sound. The island is primarily saltmarsh. Wrack deposited in the marsh during storm tides provides ideal nesting habitat for Forster?s Terns.

Ornithological Summary

Great Island is one of North Carolina's most important sites for nesting Forster's Terns. Common Terns also nest on the site.

Conservation Issues

Disturbance to nesting birds, erosion, sea level rise.

The island is posted, patrolled, and entirely off limits to visitors during the nesting season, from April 1 through August 31. Human disturbance is a significant concern, because disturbances can result in egg or chick loss, nest abandonment, and colony abandonment.


The site is protected and managed by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.



Land Use

.Wildlife conservation.

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