Soar over the Aleutian Range, and take in the incredible textures of Becharof National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Alaska. Adjacent to Katmai National Park & Preserve, this wonderland nurtures one of Bristol Bay’s largest sockeye salmon runs, part of the foundation for the local economy. Some six million sockeye salmon run here annually, supporting a wide array of wildlife while contributing to ancient cycles. At a size difficult to comprehend, the refuge protects 1,157,000 acres and includes an active volcano, unusual geological features, historically significant landmarks, and a federally designated Wilderness. Photos by Jeff Jones, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
When you and your friend know you have sweet dance moves…
Just look at these gorgeous manatees! Each November marks Manatee Awareness Month, a reason to celebrate these gentle giants, lovingly called sea cows. The average manatee is about 10ft long and weighs 800 -1,200lbs, eating approximately 1/10th of their body weight every day. From November to March, about 600 can be seen vegging and eating vegetation in the warm waters of Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.
Photo by Michel Gilbert, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Munch on these facts, manatee-style: www.doi.gov/blog/6-facts-about-manatees
Made up of flourishing forests and thriving wetlands, Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge is a dazzling sanctuary found in both New Hampshire and Maine. Because the majority of the refuge includes lands surrounding Lake Umbagog and the Magalloway River, the best access to the refuge is by boat or kayak. Boating or paddling will allow you to explore or paddle through the marshes and waterways. Enjoy great fishing and beauty with the opportunity to see bear, moose, deer, eagles, loons and so much more. Photo by Ian Shive, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Fall weather frolic, anyone? Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colorado offers 10 miles of trails, golden fall colors and views of wildlife– such as leaping mule deer, bison, prairie dogs, migrating birds and coyotes. Chilly weather means it’s the time of year to dress warmly and take a stroll down your favorite path, listen to the rustling leaves and enjoy those fleeting moments of autumn. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The mighty Mississippi River flows past Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin early in its 2,300 mile voyage to the Gulf of Mexico. In the fall, migrating birds and monarch butterflies likewise travel south, looking for food and warmer temperatures. Other wildlife remain, keeping the refuge active through winter. As the leaves fall, it’s easier to spot eagles in trees, rabbits bounding through fields, foxes chasing mice and river otters playing on the banks of the river. Photo by Michael Boerger (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Watch out! A baby horned lizard found at San Diego National Wildlife Refuge in California may be tiny and cute, but it has a secret weapon. When threatened, they intimidate attackers by squirting blood from their eyes as a defense mechanism. It’s not only confusing to predators, but it can also taste terrible. That’s just one thing you won’t be able to forget this National Reptile Awareness Day. Photo courtesy of John Martin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Suns out, tongues out!
It’s the weekend, time to go bear-zerk! With a little patience and luck, visitors to Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge may see black bears like this cub in North Carolina. Alligator River has what is believed to be the highest concentration of black bear in the southeastern United States. As National Wildlife Refuge Week (October 13-19) ends, our celebration and appreciation of the lands and waters of the do not. We’ll keep sharing the wonder of these incredible places from the National Wildlife Refuge System all year long. Photo courtesy of Cass Girvin.
Have you ever been to Alaska? Officially transferred from Russia to the United States on this day in 1867, Alaska is a vast land of epic natural beauty, incredible human history and some of the best wildlife viewing on Earth. Brown bears swipe salmon from pristine rivers, huge herds of caribou roam across the tundra and cute sea otters float together off endless stretches of gorgeous coastline. Some of the best places to enjoy Alaska are on public lands, like Alaska Peninsula and Becharof National Wildlife Refuges. They’re otterly fun! Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The end of the day provokes purple skies and tranquil waters at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. This brackish tidal marsh is a vital waterfowl sanctuary. It was created to support birds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway, and does that and so much more. All week long we’ve been celebrating the varied and critical roles of national wildlife refuges and Blackwater is no different. The tidal marsh buffers storm waters, slows erosion and absorbs pollutants before they reach the bay. Photo courtesy of Youchun Yao.
In the fall, the leaf display in the northern woods of Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Maine is simply breathtaking. The forest is made up of maple, aspen, birch, spruce and fir trees. The refuge is named for Moosehorn stream, a waterway within its boundaries. Black bears are often spotted foraging under apple trees in the fall. White-tailed deer and moose feed in the clearings. Coyotes, snowshoe hares, beaver and river otters may be seen when you explore some of the 50 miles of available trails. Photo by Keith Ramos, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.