Wildlife Conservation Areas
A number of wildlife conservation areas have been established in the CNMI through legislative act, local laws, and regulations by the Division of Fish and Wildlife, which is responsible for the mangagement of these conservation areas and the enforcement of conservation area and wildlife related laws.
Each wildlife conservation area is different in terms of conservation purpose, goals and rules, and they offer a range of opportunities for public enjoyment, including hiking and nature trails, wildlife viewing, hunting and recreation.
The Bird Island Wildlife Conservation Area was established in 1998 as part of the Commonwealth Mitigation Bank under Public Law 10-84 for purposes of wildlife conservation, to be managed to enhance habitat functions for targeted endangered and threatened species. It is located on the northeastern coast of Saipan and extends from the Bird Island Marine Sanctuary landward. It includes the Grotto and Bird Island Lookout and encompasses an area of 118 hectares.
The Bird Island Wildlife Conservation Area includes two major tourism sites: the Bird Island Overlook and the Grotto. There are also a few roadways and short trails. The primary road accessing the area is a two-lane paved road extending from the Last Command Post/Banzai Cliff area. A paved two-lane road also extends into the northern part of the conservation area where it accesses the Grotto parking lot and Grotto stairs. An unimproved road also extends into the central portion of the wildlife conservation area where it accesses a trailhead and parking area for the 150 meter Bird Island Beach Trail.
The Bird Island Overlook is one of the most popular tourism sites on Saipan. From this overlook, visitors have an expansive view of the Bird Island Wildlife Conservation Area and the Bird Island Marine Conservation Area, including a clear view of Bird Island.
Permissible activities include educational fieldtrips, documentary filming, hiking, sightseeing, adventure sports and games, and picnics. Other activities that do not detrimentally affect the wildlife may be allowed upon written application to the Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
There is no taking of plants, animals, or wildlife in the conservation area.