Celebrating 113 years of National Wildlife Refuges


Happy Birthday, National Wildlife Refuge System! President Theodore Roosevelt created the first national wildlife refuge on March 14, 1903, at Pelican Island, Florida, to protect brown pelicans and other birds from extinction through plume hunting. After 113 years, the Refuge System now includes more than 560 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts covering over 150 million acres plus more than 418 million acres of marine national monuments. More than 47 million people visit refuges every year, hearing the songs of birds, watching the curious behavior of mammals and feeling the thrill of humpback whales breeching over ocean waves. Find a refuge near you and share your experiences using #WildlifeRefuge.

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