Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we encourage you to:

  • Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information
  • Follow current CDC safe practices by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick



Entrance Fees Temporarily Suspended

After careful consideration, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt has directed national wildlife refuges to temporarily suspend the collection of all entrance fees until further notice. Refuge lands and outdoor spaces remain open to the public where it is currently possible to adhere to public health guidance. In an effort to support social distancing, facilities such as visitor centers, however, will be closed. We urge visitors to do their part when visiting the refuge to follow CDC guidance by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other people; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick. Thank you and enjoy the refuge.

Read the release

Visitor Contact Station

Iron Ranger Kiosk

Aransas NWR has temporarily suspended Visitor Contact Station operations in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. This closure follows guidance from the CDC and recommendations from state and local public health authorities. The auto tour and trails are open daily from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. For more information, call 361/349-1181.

Every Kid Outdoors

EKO Logo

Every 4th grader in the country and their family can get FREE access to hundreds of parks, lands, and waters for an entire year, including Aransas National Wildlife Refuge! Learn more about how to get this important pass at the link below.

Every Kid Outdoors Pass Information
Whooping Cranes

Whooping Crane Survey Results


Biologists have completed analysis of aerial surveys of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo whooping crane population done last winter. The survey indicated 506 whooping cranes, including 39 juveniles and 192 adult pairs, in the primary survey area (approximately 153,950 acres) centered on Aransas National Wildlife Refuge near Austwell, Texas. This marks the 3rd year in a row that the population has topped the 500 mark.

Whooping Crane Survey Results: Winter 2019-2020

Featured Stories

Tracking Whooping Cranes


Researchers from multiple organizations are working together to track the population using GPS devices. The devices record 4-5 locations every 24 hours and help identify migration routes, habitat use, nesting areas and more. This great video from Texas Parks and Wildlife highlights the important work done and how it will benefit the endangered bird.

Whooping Crane Tracking Study

Featured Stories

Whooping Crane Updates

The refuge posts Whooping Crane Updates while the cranes are on the Texas coast, their winter home. Get the most recent information on aerial surveys, habitat conditions and how the refuge is managing for the benefit of these endangered birds.

While the Birds are Here

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS