Princess Anne Wildlife Management Area

Site Description

  • State: Virginia
  • County: Virginia Beach
  • Ownership: State


  • 13 impoundments: 177 total acres

Ecology and Management

The impoundments at Princess Anne WMA provide habitat to many waterfowl, shorebirds, saltmarsh birds, wading birds, and provides breeding and wintering habitat as well. This area also provides habitat for a range of invertebrates, fish, amphibians and reptiles, and mammals. The habitats that exist within the complex face a range of natural threats, including an ongoing invasion of Phragmites, which is treated on an annual/biennial basis. Erosion of outer marshes threatens integrity of the impoundment system, and nutria, Myocastor coypus, present a potential threat to dike and marsh integrity as does muskrat activity. The impoundments were constructed in the 1990’s and 2000’s primarily for waterfowl management, which is still the primary management focus today. Waterfowl are managed through moist soil management.


The impoundments are relatively protected based on where they are located on the backside of Back Bay NWR. No damage has been documented to date.

Human Value

The impoundments neighbor Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and are located in a relatively rural area with some residential development and a small airfield nearby. The city of Virginia Beach is about 40 miles north of the WMA. The area is primarily used for hunting and not educational purposes. No data exists on the number of visitors.


We are grateful to Steve Living, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, for providing helpful information used on this page.

Literature Resources

Below is a list of articles describing research occurring at or near the impoundments:
  • Gooch, B. 2000. Enjoying Virginia Outdoors: A Guide to Wildlife Management Areas. University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville.
  • VDGIF [Virginia Division of Game and Inland Fisheries]. Princess Anne WMA. http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wmas/detail.asp?pid=8 2015:1.
  • Weldon, A. Important bird areas (IBAs) in the commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia: National Audubon Society; 2007.