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Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge Sunrise. Photo by Keenan Adams, USFWS.

Southeastern National Wildlife Refuges

Animals have many of the same needs we do. They need space to rest, safe areas to raise their young, and access to healthy food. National wildlife refuges are places where many of our nation’s animals can find the habitat they need to survive.

National Wildlife Refuges are America’s public lands and waters set aside to conserve, protect and enhance the conservation of fish, wildlife, and plants. These lands feature some of the most ecologically diverse places in the world and provide valuable habitat to our nation’s vast array of plants and animals. National wildlife refuges are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the Refuge System.

Learn more about what you can do when you visit a wildlife refuge.

History of National Wildlife Refuges

In 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt created the first National Wildlife Refuge at Pelican Island in Sebastian, Florida to protect brown pelican breeding grounds. The refuge system has since grown to more than 566 national wildlife refuges spanning approximately 100 million acres of lands and 750 million acres of oceans in the United States.

Find a wildlife refuge near you!


An infographic describing the impact of the National Wildlife Refuge System in the Southeast

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