Wild Habitats at St. George Island

A bird perched on a tree branch.

The beach is a popular attraction for both humans and wildlife, with a wide variety of fish and bird species using the beach and offshore waters to nest and feed. But just behind the beach, large sand dunes provide habitat for plants, like sea oats and beach grass. These plants in turn hold sand in place with their roots, keeping the dunes from crumbling away.

Further inland the dunes give way to flatter grasslands, where cotton mice dart in between strands of muhly and bluestem grass. And where there are mice, coachwhip snakes are sure to follow, using their speed to escape predators and catch their prey. Cricket frogs and cottonmouths make their homes in the island’s freshwater marshes, while blue crabs and other salt-tolerant species can be found in the saltwater marshes. Soaring high above, migrating raptors like peregrine falcons and bald eagles call the park home on a seasonal basis. In the park’s upland areas, slash pines tower over the other vegetation, their slender pine needles drifting slowly to the ground beneath.

Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park is more than just beaches. You can explore some of these ecosystems on our park’s hiking trails!