National Wildlife Refuge System

A Free Gift for Your Nature Lover

Friends of the 500th helped build a boardwalk at Canaan Valley Refuge, WV, featured on the MyRefuge app.
Credit: USFWS

You’re not going to gift that smartphone or tablet empty, are you?

Please the nature enthusiast on your list by preloading the device with “MyRefuge,” a free app to help explore national wildlife refuges, such as Charles M. Russell Refuge in Montana or Canaan Valley Refuge in West Virginia.

Introduced a year ago, the expanded app now features searchable maps of 300 of the country’s 560 national wildlife refuges.  Find instant information on bird watching, hiking and biking trails and historic sites in places renowned for their wildlife spectacles. Locate photo blinds, hunting blinds and fishing areas. Estimate travel times and distances. Free through December, MyRefuge can be downloaded from iTunes and appshopper.

The free National Wildlife Refuges Chesapeake Bay app is another new tool for exploring the outdoors and is available for download from the App Store on a mobile device.

App users can post photos of the plants and animals they find on refuges and tap into a global network of experts for information about the species.   As the postings accumulate, scientists and refuge managers will be able to view the data to see where and when species inhabit specific locations.

This app was developed through a partnership among the Chesapeake Conservancy and National Geographic Society with support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It incorporates the popular Project Noah wildlife photo-sharing service.

Project Noah allows users to create “missions” to pursue, and the app includes a mission for 11 national wildlife refuges in the Chesapeake Bay region, the largest estuary in the U.S. The app also includes location, maps, operating hours and guides for these refuges.  A user who visits the refuges and posts photos the missions may earn virtual “patches.” There is one for each refuge.

National Wildlife Refuges Chesapeake Bay and MyRefuge belong on your nature lover’s best-free-apps list.

Last updated: December 21, 2012