The Federal Duck Stamp Program: Since 1934, sales of Federal Duck Stamps to hunters, stamp collectors and conservationists have raised more than $700 million that has been used to acquire more than 5.2 million acres of habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System.

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Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge

 The Salton Sea is fed primarily by agricultural run-off, resulting in a salinity level 30 percent higher than sea waterRefuge Overview: Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR is one of the more unusual refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System as it is nearly entirely under water. Located in Calipatria, California, the refuge encompasses the Salton Sea, which was formed in 1905, when a man-made dike was breached by the Colorado River, flooding a vast section of desert 235 feet below sea level. Primarily fed by agricultural run-off, the salinity level of the sea is 30 percent greater than normal sea water. The sea and some surrounding lands were purchased for the National Refuge System, in part, with Federal Duck Stamp dollars. Today, the refuge is managed to provide winter feed for migratory waterfowl, preventing waterfowl-caused crop depredation to surrounding farms.
John and Karen Hollingsworth/USFWS-Photo

Wildlife and Habitat: Despite high salinity, water quality problems, and daily temperatures that climb above 100 degrees for more than 6 months out of the year, the Salton Sea has become an important stop-over spot for migratory birds and other wildlife. In the winter, more than 30,000 Ross’ and Canada geese and upwards of 60,000 ducks utilize the area as a feeding and resting stop along their migration path. Millions of marsh and shore birds also use the area. Endangered species, such as peregrine falcons, California brown pelicans, Yuma clapper rails, and desert pupfish, have been sited on the refuge at times as well. Other types of wildlife, such as cottontail rabbits, raccoons, coyotes, kit foxes, badgers, and bobcats also frequent the refuge.

Recreation Opportunities: The Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge provides opportunities for viewing and photographing a wide variety of waterfowl and wildlife species.

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