The Holly Shelter?Angola Bay site is an area of extensive forested habitats, including pine savannahs, pocosin, and cypress swamp. Most of the site is part of the state-owned game lands system managed by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The site has one of the state?s most important longleaf pine communities and is one of the state?s best examples of pocosin habitats. The site is managed primarily to provide wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities for the public (primarily hunting). Much of the site is remote and inaccessible, but a series of roads are open to the public during fall and winter seasons.

Ornithological Summary

The site supports at least 25 breeding groups of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, plus three additional birds. Additional groups are suspected to exist within inaccessible pocosin habitats. The red-cockaded woodpeckers found within the boundaries of Holly Shelter Game Land presently comprise more than 10% of the NC Southern Coastal Plain population. The swamp forest along the Northeast Cape Fear River is significant for nesting songbirds, wood ducks and barred owls. Much of the area is comprised of pocosin habitat and support bird species associated with this habitat type (Criteria 3). In addition, the site supports a significant concentration of migratory land birds (Criteria 4g).

Conservation Issues

Fire suppression, introduced species.

Surrounding residential and commercial development isolates the state-owned game land from other habitat units. The area is subject to encroachments, due to many surrounding landowners and amount of boundary. Degradation of water quality from development and industrial uses may impact the Northeast Cape Fear River and other tributaries of the Cape Fear. This area continues to grow in conserved lands as tracts are added to state game lands and other parcels are added for conservation.


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


coniferous forest, deciduous forest, shrub/scrub, non-tidal wetland, swamp forest, river

Land Use

Wildlife conservation, hunting, forestry.

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