CUMBERLAND ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE (CINS)

Year National Seashore Formed:
1972


Wilderness Designation:
1982
8,840 wilderness and 11,718 acres as potential wilderness


Wilderness Redesignation:
2004
(Lost appx. 200 acres)


Total Current Wilderness Acreage:
9,907
(abt 15 square miles)


Managed by:
National Park Service


Annual Visitors:
60,000
*this number excludes private boaters kayakers, scientists/naturalists and guests of private events


Additional Designations/Recognitions:
Previously designated as an
International Biosphere Reserve
(this designation was removed in 2017)


LITTLE KNOWN FACT!
Over 11,000 acres were designated as ‘potential wilderness’ which, legally, must be managed in the same manner as the Wilderness Area. Less than 5% of the United States is under this designation, with most of it in the western US.

NATIVE ISLAND WILDLIFE

For more in-depth information, please reference A Natural History of Cumberland Island by Carol Ruckdeschel. Autographed copy available for purchase soon here.

Take a look below at a small part of the native wildlife on Cumberland Island.

AMERICAN ALLIGATOR

While American alligators are found on all the barrier islands, their role in the Cumberland ecosystem is unique.

BOBCATS
Over-population of surrounding areas caused the release on Cumberland between 1972-1989.

COYOTES
Coyotes have only been visually confirmed since 2008 via photograph.

BALD EAGLE
Bald eagles are a fairly common sight on Cumberland in all months. Historically, they were killed for taking newborn livestock.

OSPREY
Ospreys breed from all over the east coast, but are most abundant on Cumberland in the spring and the summer.

FIDDLER CRABS
Fiddler crabs gather around the saltmarsh shoreline. The crabs turn dark in the day and light in the dark.

OTHER RARE AND ENDANGERED SPECIES LIVING ON CUMBERLAND

GREEN SEA TURTLE
Substantial nesting along the southeastern coast of Florida with occasional nesting on Cumberland Island.
PIPING PLOVER
This bird of the ocean beach is a moderately common migrant and winter visitor to Cumberland Island.
RIGHT WHALE
Seasonally range from eastern Canada to the Southwestern US using Cumberland as a critical nursery habitat.
LEAST TERN
The smallest of terns on the island, it is a summer breeder whose range extends from Mass. to South America.
AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER
A permanent resident with about 10 breeding pairs nesting along the beach each season.
WILSON’S PLOVER
This bird of the ocean beach is a moderately common migrant and winter visitor to Cumberland Island.