Mississippi GEMS

Horn Island Preserve

  1. Horn IslandSite Information Point(s) of Contact: Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Coastal Preserves Program
  2. Geographic Information
    1. Narrative Description of the Site: The primary boundary of this 2,763-acre preserve is one mile North and South of the island and is bounded on the East and West by the Alabama state line the the Gulfport Mississippi shipping channel. This large barrier island is made up of subtidal estuarine habitat near shore, barrier island marsh/pond/lagoon complex with pine-oak maritime woodland inland, and sea grass beds and mollusk reef off shore. This unique location provides excellent feeding, resting, and wintering habitat for numerous types of neotropical migrants and wintering waterfowl species, such as the Brown Pelican, White Pelican, and cormorants. This area is also known to be rookery for the least tern, black skimmer, bald eagle, and osprey. Lands within this Coastal Preserve are federally owned. The island is part of the Gulf Island National Seashore and managed by the National Park Service.
    2. Date When Information Last Updated: March, 1998
    3. Location: Jackson County, N30 14'30" W088 41'21"
    4. Area of Influence: Barrier Island
  3. Ecological/Cultural Characteristics
    1. Habitat type: A large barrier island with the following ecological communities are expected or known to occur on the island: marine subtidal 1) Gulf of Mexico shallow sandy bottom (near shore); marine intertidal 1) sand shore; estuarine subtidal 1) Mississippi Sound-sand bottom (nearshore) 2) barrier island pond/lagoon complex 3) tidal pass 4) barrier island sea grass bed 5) mollusk reef; estuarine intertidal 1) oligohaline or mesohaline marsh 2) barrier island high marsh.
    2. Rare/Endangered Species:
      1. Pelecanus erythrorhynchos American White Pelican
      2. P. occidentalis Brown Pelican
      3. Phalacrocorax auritus Double-Crested Cormorant
      4. Egretta rufescens Reddish Egret
      5. Nycticorax nycticorax Black-Crowned Night-Heron
      6. Panion haliaetus Osprey
      7. Halilaeetus leucocephalus Bald Eagle
      8. Circus cyaneus Northern Harrier
      9. Falco sparverius American Kestrel
      10. F. peregrinus Peregrine Falcon
      11. Latrerallus jamaicensis Black Rail
      12. Charadrius alexandrinus Snowy Plover
      13. Sterna nilotica Gull-Billed Tern
      14. S. maxima Royal Tern
      15. S. antillerum Least Tern
      16. Tyto alba Common Barn-Owl
      17. Tyrannus dominicensis Gray Kingbird
      18. Lanius ludovicianus Loggerhead Shrike
      19. Myotis lucifugus Little Brown Bat
      20. Caretta caretta Loggerhead Sea Turtle
      21. Lepidochelys Kempi Atlantic Ridley Turtle
      22. Caretta caretta Atlantic Loggerhead Sea Turtle
      23. Chelonia mydas Green Turtle
      24. Pseudemys sp.1 Mississippi Redbelly Turtle
      25. Alligator mississippiensis American Alligator
      26. Nerodia clarkii clarkii Gulf Salt Marsh Snake
      27. Lilaeopsis carolinensis Carolina Lilaeopsis
      28. Helenium drummondii Drummond’s Sneezeweed
      29. Paronychia erecta Gulf Rockrose
      30. Helianthemum arenicola Gulf Rockrose
      31. Ipomoea pes-caprae Railroad Vine
      32. Polanisia tenifolia Slender-Leaved Clammy-Weed
      33. Conradina canescens Seaside Balm
      34. Andropogon capillipes A Bluestem Grass
      35. Aristida spiciformis Pine Barren Three-Awned Grass
      36. Xyris flabelliformis Fan-Shaped Yellow-Eyed Grass
    3. Breeding/Nursery Area:
      1. Least Tern Rookery
      2. Royal Tern Rookery
      3. Sandwich Tern Rookery
      4. Black Skimmer Rookery
      5. Bald Eagle Rookery
      6. Osprey Rookery
      7. Great Blue Heron Rookery
      8. Atlantic Loggerhead Turtle Nesting
    4. Migratory Species: This unique location provides excellent feeding, resting, and wintering habitat for numerous types of migratory bird species, such as the Brown Pelican, White Pelican, and cormorants.
  4. Management Status
    1. Land Ownership: The island is part of the Gulf Island National Seashore, owned and managed by the National Park Service.
    2. Existing Designations: Designated as a Wilderness Area (Gulf Islands Wilderness Area) and a Mississippi Coastal Preserve
    3. Management Status: This preserve is managed by the Gulf Island National Seashore.
    4. Existing Monitoring Activities: This preserve is monitored by the Gulf Island National Seashore.
  5. Sources of Information: Boyd, J.L., et. al., 1995. An inventory of pond fauna of the Gulf Islands National Seashore with parasitological and trophic observations. Unpublished Report to the National Parks Service.
  6. Comments and/or Additional Information on the Horn Island Preserve: Superintendent, Gulf Islands National Seashore, 3500 Park Road, Ocean Springs MS 39564