Monkey Island is a remote natural island located in the middle of Currituck Sound. The island was once the site of the Monkey Island Hunting Club, whose building remains standing. Approximately half of the island is forest dominated by pine, live oak, red cedar, and yaupon. The site has long supported a large colony of wading birds.

Ornithological Summary

Monkey Island supports a mixed-species wading bird colony that includes the following species: Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Cattle Egret, and Green Heron. It is North Carolina's northernmost wading bird colony and the only colony in Currituck Sound.

Conservation Issues

Disturbance to birds, erosion, and recreational development and overuse.

The island is surrounded by a wooden bulkhead that protects it from erosion. The bulkhead is in need of repair: it has collapsed in many places, and in those places the shore is eroding. A second issue is human disturbance, which can result in egg or chick loss, nest abandonment, and colony abandonment.


The site is currently under the jurisdiction of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve program.


The island is dominated by a mixed forest of loblolly pine, live oak, red cedar, yaupon and hackberry. Shrub thickets include wax myrtle, willow and silverling.

Land Use

Wildlife conservation.

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