Fripp Island is designated as a Wildlife Sanctuary, making Fripp the perfect place to observe several different species up close and personal. Deer freely roam the island, so don’t be surprised if you find them grazing in your yard! Being a wildlife preserve, Fripp Island is also home to a number of species of birds: White Ibis, Great Egrets, Oystercatchers, Screech Owls, Painted Buntings, and Great Blue Herons to name a few.Fripp Island also plays host to the Loggerhead Sea Turtle. Gigantic female turtles can be spotted on the beach, and you can watch the baby sea turtles hatch! Fripp Island is even home to alligators that hang out in a few of the quiet lagoons. Don’t worry, they are very tame if left alone.
Along the Island you will find some alligators lurking in the lagoon waters and tidal pools. They have a very distinct body with the scaly back that can be seen on the top of the water. Alligators can move fast from the water to the ground, so there are some safety precautions to follow while you are near these types of water. While visiting, keep away from the lagoons and tidal pools waters and make sure kids understand not to go near the water or in the water and the possible dangers. There is no fishing, crabbing, or swimming in the lagoons or tidal pools. Also feeding the alligators is prohibited. They will keep to themselves when left alone, so if you follow the safety protocols and understand alligator information then you will have a safe and fun trip!
Fripp Island is home to over 80 species of birds, from shore birds to marsh birds. This area is known as an "important bird area" due to the undisturbed lands and coast that inhabit these beautiful creatures. Some specific species that you will find on the Island are bald eagles, ospreys, pelicans, egrets, and blue herons. Many species of birds are permanent residents on Fripp as well as many species that breed or migrate through the winter. The beach and inlets provide nesting and foraging grounds for a great number of shorebirds and seabirds.
Loggerhead Sea Turtles
Each spring and summer dozens of loggerhead sea turtles come to Fripp Island and lay their eggs. So many migrate to the area, that there is a specific group on Fripp Island known as the "Fripp Island Loggerhead Patrol" who are volunteers that monitor and protect the baby sea turtles. They will locate and monitor the nests to make sure they are in safe areas and not near high tides. They will continue to protect these nests during a 45-70 day period until the baby sea turtles hatch at night and move along the sand leading to the ocean.
Want to learn more about loggerheads?
Check out more information on these interesting creatures and their nesting.
There is the Nature and Activity Center on Fripp Island that is open to the public and has amazing wildlife tours, exhibits and resources. From snakes to baby alligators you will find there are up-close and sometimes hands on experiences at the center. There are multiple programs through Camp Fripp that kids can take advantage of at the Nature and Activity Center, like bike tours, crabbing tours, and sea turtle tours.
Want to join in on the nature fun?
Learn more about the variety of nature tours and how to get access to the special on-island tours.