Seabird nesting colonies on Culebra were the primary reason for the establishment of the refuge, which is part of the United States federal refuge system. This group of birds utilizes grasslands, rocky shores, small islands or cays, sandy beaches, mangroves, and occasionally lagoons near the coast.
Fourteen species of seabirds nest in the Culebra Archipelago including Audubon’s Shearwater, Masked Booby, Brown Booby, Red-footed Booby, White-tailed Tropicbird, Red-billed Tropicbird, Laughing Gull, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, Cayenne Tern, Roseate Tern, Bridled Tern, Sooty Tern, and Brown Noddy.
Flamenco peninsula and nearby cays annually support nesting colonies totaling 30-40,000 pairs of Sooty Terns, while other portions of the refuge provide habitat for Brown Noddies, with estimated nesting populations of 800 pairs, Tropicbirds (White-tailed and Red-billed), Boobies, Frigatebirds (no nesting documented), Laughing Gulls, and others.
For more information, visit: www.fws.gov/caribbean/refuges/culebra.