Explore Nature

Natural Wonders of Fripp Island

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.

My centerpiece for a fundraiser to support humane birth control for the deer in Fripp.  We Fripp Islanders do love our deer. #lifeonfripp #loveourdeer #gloriarobinson #frippisland #frippislandsc #frippislanddeer

My centerpiece for a fundraiser to support humane birth control for the deer in Fripp. We Fripp Islanders do love our deer. #lifeonfripp #loveourdeer #gloriarobinson #frippisland #frippislandsc #frippislanddeer ...

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How do we title this post? Pick up your litter? Don’t leave fishing line and boat ropes in the marsh? No… We would like to take this opportunity to say that THIS is why we formed a nonprofit - to help the deer and other wildlife on Fripp Island. Sadly, this young fellow died after sparring with another young buck, which left both of them entangled in rope - both dying. We worked with this boy to cut as much of the rope as we could in the days prior to his death. He was very shy and would run as soon as we came too close. We learned about protocol from this situation and how we might handle it differently in the future. We are actually learning every day about not only the deer, but about all wildlife. Our goal is to learn how to best care for the wildlife on Fripp Island so that each species thrives in the the ecosystem that creates this barrier island off of the coast of South Carolina. The deer are our first priority. We are currently studying their health through visual surveys: noting gender, age, visual signs of injury or impairment, and taking fecal and soil samples in the different zones of the island. We are also studying their travel patterns and behavioral patterns in terms of deer to deer, as well as deer to human interaction. We are developing health management protocols for illness and emergencies, as well as population management and educational awareness pieces. We are learning about the dependence our wildlife has on natural environment and their contributions to the ecosystem that sustains this island. The wildlife is an essential part of Fripp that brings peace and connection to nature to both residents and thousands of visitors each year. In these changing times, this is our effort to make a difference so that we can prevent tragedies such as this. #frippisland #fdpandwf #frippislanddeer #landpreservation #barrierisland #beaufortsc #openlandtrust #wildlifephotography #wildlife #locallifesc #visitbeaufort #huntingislandsc #backtonature #islandpacket

How do we title this post? Pick up your litter? Don’t leave fishing line and boat ropes in the marsh? No… We would like to take this opportunity to say that THIS is why we formed a nonprofit - to help the deer and other wildlife on Fripp Island. Sadly, this young fellow died after sparring with another young buck, which left both of them entangled in rope - both dying. We worked with this boy to cut as much of the rope as we could in the days prior to his death. He was very shy and would run as soon as we came too close. We learned about protocol from this situation and how we might handle it differently in the future. We are actually learning every day about not only the deer, but about all wildlife. Our goal is to learn how to best care for the wildlife on Fripp Island so that each species thrives in the the ecosystem that creates this barrier island off of the coast of South Carolina. The deer are our first priority. We are currently studying their health through visual surveys: noting gender, age, visual signs of injury or impairment, and taking fecal and soil samples in the different zones of the island. We are also studying their travel patterns and behavioral patterns in terms of deer to deer, as well as deer to human interaction. We are developing health management protocols for illness and emergencies, as well as population management and educational awareness pieces. We are learning about the dependence our wildlife has on natural environment and their contributions to the ecosystem that sustains this island. The wildlife is an essential part of Fripp that brings peace and connection to nature to both residents and thousands of visitors each year. In these changing times, this is our effort to make a difference so that we can prevent tragedies such as this. #frippisland #fdpandwf #frippislanddeer #landpreservation #barrierisland #beaufortsc #openlandtrust #wildlifephotography #wildlife #locallifesc #visitbeaufort #huntingislandsc #backtonature #islandpacket ...

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Deer
The deer on Fripp are quite amazing. They are around every turn and find the peaceful island habitat the perfect environment in which to thrive. The 6.5 square mile island is home to a large herd of whitetail deer and offers shelter in the forests of pine and oak, but they can also be seen roaming freely throughout the island. Wildlife viewing is one of the wonders of the island, and the deer add so much to the beauty of Fripp . Many homeowners and visitors alike enjoy toodling around the island in a golf cart and often can see groups of deer hanging out in grassy areas, on beach dunes and along tree-lined streets. Bring your binoculars and your camera on your next visit and you will be rewarded with great memories and great pictures to share.

Birding
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.

What kind of birds are found on Fripp Island?

bald eagles ospreys pelicans
egrets blue herons white ibis
oystercatchers screech owls painted buntings

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.

Nature Tours
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. (Scheduled tours require a Club Card.)

Want to join in on the nature fun at the Fripp Island Resort Activity Center?

Learn more about the variety of nature tours and how to get access to the special on-island tours.

Wildlife Safety
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!