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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Let's Go Outside! Featured Refuge Events for the Week of December 5th

It's the holiday season on our refuges! Here are some of the events happening at refuges across the country this week, many in the spirit of the season.  Check out this link for more events happening in December on our refuges.

As always, make sure you head over to the Refuge System's homepage and use their searchable map to find events at a Wildlife Refuge near you!

Let's go outside!

Sleigh Passing Elk HerdSleigh passing elk herd Photo: Lori Iverson/USFWS

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Let's Go Outside! Featured Refuge Events for the Week of November 28th

The weather may be getting colder, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything to do outside! Here are some of the events happening at refuges across the country this week.  As always, make sure you head over to the Refuge System's homepage and use their searchable map to find a Wildlife Refuge near you!

Let's go outside!

First Snow at SunsetThe season's first snow at Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge, ND on Nov. 7, 2011

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Teddy Roosevelt and the History of the National Wildlife Refuge System

Today, there are 553 refuges across the country, with at least one in every state, providing safety to more than 250 threatened or endangered plants and animals.  Have you ever wondered how we got there?

President Roosevelt, known for his love of nature and wildlife established Pelican Island as our first national refuge in 1903.  Though he didn’t know it at the time, Roosevelt had set the nation on the path to building the largest national Refuge System in the world. 

Throughout his presidency, refuges were established around the country, and by the time he left office in 1909, he had declared 53 refuges in 17 states and three territories.

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Mississippi: A Terrapin's View of Climate Change

Terrapin in profile

The Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is researching the diamondback terrapin turtle, whose habitat is likely to be inundated as the sea rises. Photo by Christina Mohrmann/Grand Bay NERR.

Photo iconPhotos: Terrapin photos on Flickr

The 10,216-acre Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge is under threat from the very thing that gives it life – the Gulf of Mexico and its changing sea levels.

The refuge rests in a low-lying coastal area across state lines between Biloxi, Mississippi and Mobile, Alabama. Savannas cover the flatlands while bayous, marshes, and islands sprawl along the shoreline. Ospreys outnumber people.

The refuge is just inches above sea level. So is the adjoining Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, an 18,400-acre area funded by NOAA and administered by the State of Mississippi to promote estuarine research and education within the coastal zone.

It’s the home of the Mississippi diamondback terrapin, a feisty little water turtle that is slowly disappearing thanks to over-harvesting and habitat loss. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the terrapin as a species of concern, a sort of watch list for species in decline. 

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