Sanctuary Management

Balancing conservation, education, research, habitat improvement and traditional hunting grounds

Chandler Sawyer, Habitat and Resource Manager

Photo: Mark Buckler

The Sanctuary in Corolla works to maintain a balance between conservation activities, research, education  and hunting.
There are multiple uses of the sanctuary and finding the appropriate balance requires a keen understanding of the resource, discussions with our stakeholders and thoughtful application of lessons learned. The education and research  campus takes up less than 60 of our 2600 acres allowing the balance to be used for scientific research, conservation management and hunting.
Currituck Sound is one of the oldest managed hunting grounds in America. By managing the blinds that came with the property, we control the hunting pressure in this portion of the sound. If we did not, others could hunt the open waters of the sanctuary and we would lose that control.

Some of the world’s earliest conservationists were hunters; outdoorsmen who saw that the landscape was changing and wanted to preserve their traditions. Today, conservationists and hunters still share a goal of thoughtfully managing birds and the landscapes they depend on. 

Currituck Sound has a long history of hunting, and we now continue that tradition in a limited, and sustainable way, working with our partners at Ducks Unlimited, one of the most important organizations in waterfowl conservation.

Currituck Sound is famed for its winter waterfowl hunting, and it's also one of the most regulated hunting areas in the state. Each duck blind must be licensed and maintained every year, and blinds must also be at least 500 yards, or about one-quarter mile apart.

The area attracts numerous species of ducks and other waterfowl every year. Our marshes allow ducks to have the three things they need most - food, water and rest. Summer ducks are able to breed, roost and raise their young undisturbed. Winter ducks find abundant food and shelter.

The Sanctuary is home to 29 duck blinds along the Currituck Sound, which are available strictly to privately invited hunters. We maintain so many blinds to control the number of people who are able to hunt within the Sanctuary. These efforts regulate hunting pressure and also create a minimally disturbed habitat where ducks can thrive. Working together, we maintain these important species, so we can all enjoy them for many generations.

Click here to learn more about the waterfowl that return to the Audubon Sanctuary each year. 

Controlled Burns Bring Life to the Marshes

Controlled Burns

Audubon NC staff is conducting sustainable controlled burns at the Audubon Sanctuary in Corolla. 

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Pristine Sanctuary for Birds
Plan Your Visit

Pristine Sanctuary for Birds

With its extensive marshes, waterways and diversity of upland and maritime forest, the 2,600 acres of preserved land contribute to major environmental and wildlife conservation efforts for the health of our birds, wildlife and local community. 

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Biodiversity Abounds
Natural History

Biodiversity Abounds

Audubon’s Sanctuary in Corolla is host to hundreds of individual species and more are being identified and recorded regularly.

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How you can help, right now