Refuge Accepting Entries to Annual Photography Contest

We are now accepting entries for our annual Nature Photography Contest. Nature photography is unmatched at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge ranging from beautiful landscapes and unique flora to abundant wildlife, including endangered species and plentiful migratory birds throughout the year. Okefenokee’s amateur photography contest is a testament to the majesty of the refuge and to our visitors’ photography skills. The winning photo will be featured on the 2023 Okefenokee NWR annual pass and may also be used in promotional materials for the refuge.  The refuge will accept entries from amateur, non-professional photographers only. Entries must be received by September 30, 2022 to be eligible and must be taken on the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. For a full list of rules and how to enter the contest, visit our Photography page

The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge conserves the unique qualities of the Okefenokee Swamp, and is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St. Marys rivers.  The refuge provides habitat for threatened and endangered species, such as the red-cockaded woodpecker, indigo snake, and wood stork, along with a wide variety of other wildlife.  It is world renowned for its amphibian populations that are bio-indicators of global health. More than 600 plant species have been identified on refuge lands. The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge has 353,981 acres of National Wilderness Area within the refuge boundaries. In addition, the refuge is a Wetland of International Importance (RAMSAR Convention – 1971) because of the Okefenokee Swamp's importance and value on an international scale. The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is also on the tentative list to become a World Heritage Site because of it's global significance.
Refuge Accepting Applications for Commercial Guide Services

In order to better serve our visitors, Okefenokee NWR has an established procedure for the issuance of commercial guide permits for day-use and overnight guiding.

All first time applicants must have their application and all supporting materials submitted to the refuge by September 1, 2022 to be considered for the next season which begins October 1, 2022. For details, visit the Get Involved Page

 

Visit Us

Visit Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge for the opportunity to enjoy a unique ecosystem with a fascinating cultural history and rich species diversity. Stop in to the Richard S. Bolt Visitor Center to learn about all of the recreational opportunities on the refuge. The refuge is open daily from 30 minutes before sunrise to 7:30 p.m. and the Richard S. Bolt Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Visit our Facebook page or give us a call at 912-496-7836 for up-to-date information on programs and upcoming events.  

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge conserves the unique qualities of the Okefenokee Swamp for future generations to enjoy.  The swamp is considered the headwaters of the Suwannee and St Marys Rivers.  Habitats provide for threatened and endangered species, and a wide variety of other wildlife. It is world renowned for its amphibian populations that are bio-indicators of global health.

      What We Do

      Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It drives everything on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters managed within the Refuge System, from the purposes for which a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
      A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

      Learn more about national wildlife refuge
      is established to the recreational activities offered to the resource management tools used. Using conservation best practices, the Refuge System manages Service lands and waters to help ensure the survival of native wildlife species.   

      Our Species

      The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge was established to provide "refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.” The refuge provides habitat for threatened and endangered species, such as red-cockaded woodpeckers, wood storks and eastern indigo snakes. The most iconic species that resides in the Okefenokee NWR, is the American Alligator. With an estimated population of approximately 15,000 alligators living in the Okefenokee Swamp, visitors are almost guaranteed to have at least a few sightings of these important and beautiful reptiles. Other notable bird species include swallow-tailed kites, sandhill cranes, Bachman's sparrows, prothonotary warblers, red-shouldered hawks and barred owls. Other reptilian residents include: gopher tortoise, timber rattlesnakes, Florida softshell turtles and numerous species of watersnakes. 

      Our Library

      Visit our digital library to find refuge brochures and other documents.

      Get Involved

      Discover for yourself what tens of thousands of volunteers have learned: Volunteering for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is fun and rewarding in many ways. Master new skills. Meet new friends. Enjoy a sense of accomplishment from doing your part to further wildlife conservation for the pleasure of generations to follow. Check out Okefenokee's volunteer opportunities on Volunteer.gov or by calling the Richard S. Bolt Visitor Center at 912-496-7836.