Category: national wildlife refuge system

Travel to the northern-most point of Kaua‘i and the Main Hawaiian Islands and you’ll be met with a paradise known as Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. When Anne Readel photographed this shot in March, red-footed boobies circled the skies around the setting sun, she described it as a “truly magical place”. Gorgeous views from the 568-foot ocean bluff, incredible wildlife watching and mesmerizing waves crashing below – a trip to Hawaii could be the perfect goal for the next year. What is your dream #usinterior destination? Photo courtesy of Anne Readel.

It turns out, the golden views at Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge are what you find at the end of the rainbow. This Colorado wildlife refuge offers glimpses of both the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Great Sand Dunes National Park in the distance. The auto-tour route between April and early fall allows a drive, in solitude, amongst wetlands home to dozens of bird species. Along the Rio Grande River Trail, you will see a wide variety of habitats, from lush grasses to dense stands of willow, to towering cottonwood trees. Photo courtesy of Patricia Henschen.

Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is easily the kind of place you picture when you hear the word “paradise.” It is part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument and is located about halfway between Hawaii and American Samoa. The palm trees bust over the edge of the water like a vase overstuffed with a giant bouquet.  Palmyra consists of a remote string of 26 islets nestled among several lagoons and encircled by 15,000 acres of shallow turquoise reefs and deep blue submerged reefs. While people are scarce, both the lush jungle and ocean waters teem with tropical wildlife. Video by Ian Shive, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Happy Birthday, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service! We’re wild about you! On this day in 1940, the Department of the Interior consolidated the Bureau of Fisheries and the Bureau of Biological Survey into one agency, calling it the Fish and Wildlife Service. With roots tracing back as far as 1871, the history and programs are some of the oldest efforts dedicated to natural resource conservation. Photo of two immature eagles battling mid-flight over a duck at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex in California by Steve McDonald, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Leave behind the hustle and bustle to spend calm moments at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge. Lake Mattamuskeet is the centerpiece of the refuge and at 40,100 acres, is North Carolina’s largest natural lake. Promising scenic water views, walking trails and peaceful surroundings, visitors find the refuge a serene excursion while visiting the Outerbanks. Lake Mattamuskeet provides a reliable place to see birds and other wildlife living their best lives. Photo of a sunrise flight by Keith Ramos, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Today marks the 115th anniversary of the creation of the first national wildlife refuge at Pelican Island in Florida and the birth of the national wildlife refuge system. From Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge on the Atlantic to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific, over 550 wildlife refuges – many of them close to urban centers – protect an incredible array of wildlife and landscapes. Find a refuge near you. Photo of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia by Heather Bautista (