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Since 1903, when President Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida’s Pelican Island as the first national wildlife refuge, 560 wildlife refuges (the newest refuges were founded in New Mexico last month), have been designated across the U.S. protecting more than 150 million acres of land in every state.
Visited by more than 42 million people a year, National Wildlife Refuges provide habitat for more than 700 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 250 reptile and amphibian species and more than 1000 species of fish. More than 280 threatened and endangered plant and animal species are protected on wildlife refuges.
Tips about National Wildlife Refuges:
How can I find a listing of all the National Wildlife Refuges? Check out the National Wildlife Refuge website’s “Find Your Refuge” map.
How can I find out about “special events”? The NWR website provides a comprehensive calendar of events that is updated regularly. Here is the calendar.
Activities for Kids? The National Wildlife Refuge version of the National Park Service’s Junior Ranger Program is Neighborhood Explorers.
Details about National Wildlife Refuge Week 2012 from the leading NWR advocacy organization, the National Wildlife Refuge Association? Find them here.
Check out your local National Wildlife Refuge this week. There is no better place to learn about the outdoors and the need to protect and preserve nature than at a National Wildlife Refuge.
by Pat Byington editor of The Green Register