Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge

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Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Map showing the location of Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge
Map showing the location of Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge
Map showing the location of Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge
Map showing the location of Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge
LocationVirgin Islands, United States
Nearest cityCharlotte Amalie, VI
Coordinates18°16′33″N 64°53′14″W / 18.2757885°N 64.8870868°W / 18.2757885; -64.8870868[1]Coordinates: 18°16′33″N 64°53′14″W / 18.2757885°N 64.8870868°W / 18.2757885; -64.8870868[1]
Area45 acres (0.18 km²)
Governing bodyU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Buck Island Lighthouse
LocationBuck Island, United States Virgin Islands, US
Coordinates18°16′41.5″N 64°53′33.6″W / 18.278194°N 64.892667°W / 18.278194; -64.892667
Year first constructed1913 (first)
Year first lit1990s (current)
Deactivated1990s. (first)
Foundationconcrete basement
Constructionsteel tower (first)
metal skeletal tower (current)
Tower shapesquare frustum tower with balcony and lantern (first)
square prism skeletal tower with balcony and light (current)
Markings / patternwhite tower, black lantern (first)
unpainted tower (current)
Tower height8 metres (26 ft) (first)
12 metres (39 ft)
Focal height42 metres (138 ft) (current)
Light sourcesolar power
Range8 nautical miles (15 km; 9.2 mi)
CharacteristicFl W 4s.
Admiralty numberJ5628
NGA number14632
ARLHS numberVIR-002 (first)
USCG number3-32565
Managing agentBuck Island National Wildlife Refuge [2][3]

Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge is located about 2 miles (4 km) south of the island of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands of the United States. There are actually two "Buck Islands." The National Wildlife Refuge occupies the one near St. Thomas. The one just north of St. Croix is the centerpiece of Buck Island Reef National Monument. Adjacent to the refuge is Capella Island, about half the size of Buck, owned by the territorial government.

The refuge is characterized by a thorn scrub habitat with rocky coastline surrounded by spectactular reefs. A lighthouse (still maintained by the United States Coast Guard) stands over 45 acres (180,000 m2) of cactus and grassland. The island was transferred to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service due to "its value for migratory birds." The U.S. Navy transferred some lands in 1969 and the remainder was received from the Coast Guard in 1981. The surrounding waters contain reefs and a shipwreck that attract large numbers of snorkelers, divers, and boaters.

Turtle Cove, on the northwest side, is densely populated with sea turtles. Tours of Turtle Cove are available from St. John and St. Thomas.

Buck Island NWR is administered as part of the Caribbean Islands National Wildlife complex.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
  2. ^ U.S. Virgin Island The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 11 January 2017
  3. ^ List of Lights, Pub. 110: Greenland, The East Coasts of North and South America (Excluding Continental U.S.A. Except the East Coast of Florida) and the West Indies (PDF). List of Lights. United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 2016.

External links[edit]