|Osprey -- Photo by D. J. Yoros|
"...the refuge has been named as one of the 10 natural wonders of Alabama."
Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge consists of 7,000
acres of wildlife habitat lying directly west of Gulf Shores,
Alabama on the Fort Morgan peninsula of south Alabama. The peninsula is
that finger of land defining the eastern border of the mouth of Mobile
Bay. The refuge was created by congress in 1980 to serve as a rest-and-rehabilitation
landfall for non-game birds migrating south in the fall and north in the
spring. The migration paths from Bon Secour lead south to lower Florida,
the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.
Over 370 species of birds have been identified and banded at the refuge during migratory seasons. The largest are usually ospreys and several species of herons. At the other extreme, seven species of hummingbirds have been identified. Mammals such as red fox, wild boar, coyotes, armadillos and others are also present. Alligators are common in refuge wetlands.
The refuge serves the additional benefit of comprising the last large parcel of undeveloped accessible land on the Alabama coast. It's dunes are a reminder of the Gulf Coast as it once existed. As a consequence, the refuge has been named as one of the 10 natural wonders of Alabama.
The rolling dunes and wetlands with their dense growth of both evergreen and deciduous trees are often difficult to traverse, but three foot trails are maintained for those who wish to observe the flora, fauna and the beach.
The refuge is small, compared to most national refuges, and is composed of five separate parcels of land.
A group of citizens from all over the United States have banded together to form a Friends support group. Many members are out of state residents who winter on the Gulf. The organization functions primarily as an advocacy group, making telephone calls and writing letters as needed. It also functions as a non-profit private organization to accept donations and land to improve the refuge and to increase wildlife habitat.
If you would like more information on the refuge or the Friends of the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, please:
to: Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
Go to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region Home Page