South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center Heritage Preserve
Latitude: 33.23 Longitude:-79.222
Property Type: Heritage Preserve - Natural
NO Hunting Allowed on Property
Hours of Operation
Visitation by Guided Tour Only, September-May. Days of the week and times vary during the year. Call for more information on available dates and to make reservations.
Considered one of the most outstanding gifts to wildlife conservation in North America, the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center was willed to DNR in 1976 by the late Tom Yawkey. Composed of 31 square miles of marsh, managed wetlands, forest openings, ocean beach, longleaf pine forest and maritime forest, the preserve is principally dedicated as a wildlife preserve, research area and waterfowl refuge.
In addition to protecting game species such as white-tailed deer and wild turkey, the Yawkey Center is a haven for nongame and endangered species. The diversity of habitats support over 200 species of birds, rivaling the variety and rarity documented at the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. An unusual number of raptorial birds frequent the area to rest during migration, to nest or to feed. They include hawks, ospreys, peregrine falcons, golden and bald eagles.
The uplands on the Yawkey Center protect a diversity of plant species and provide habitat for small mammals such as raccoons, fox squirrels and otters. The federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker also inhabits the longleaf pine uplands of the preserve.
Because the Yawkey Center's beaches are undisturbed, they provide protected feeding and resting areas for various seabirds including the brown pelican, least terns and the federally threatened piping plover, as well as excellent nesting locations for the federally threatened loggerhead sea turtle.