Welcome to Patuxent Research Refuge!
Patuxent Research Refuge is one of over 540 refuges in the
National Wildlife Refuge System administered
by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The National Wildlife Refuge System is the world’s largest network
of lands and waters dedicated to protecting wildlife and their habitat.
Established in 1936 by executive order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt,
the Patuxent Research Refuge is the Nation's only National Wildlife Refuge
established to support wildlife research. Today most of the research on
the refuge is conducted by the US Geological Survey (USGS) through the
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.
With land surrounding the Patuxent and Little Patuxent Rivers between
Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD, the Refuge has grown from the original
2,670 acres to its present size of 12,841 acres and encompasses land formerly
managed by the Departments of Agriculture and Defense. Throughout decades
of change, Patuxent's mission of conserving and protecting the nation's
wildlife and habitat through research and wildlife management techniques
has remained virtually unchanged.
Patuxent Research Refuge is divided into three areas: 1) North Tract,
which offers hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, trails, and many
interpretive programs; 2) Central Tract, where the offices and study sites
of the many research biologists are located at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife
Research Center; and 3) South Tract, where the National
Wildlife Visitor Center and its trails are located. The National Wildlife
Visitor Center and North Tract are the only areas open for visitor activities.
Download a .PDF version of Patuxent Research Refuge's brochure (800 KB file)
During conditions of severe weather or other emergencies,
Patuxent follows Office of Personnel Management guidelines for the Washington, DC metropolitan area. During unusual conditions, a message as to the status of the Refuge/Research Center will be recorded on the
Patuxent Emergency Information Line, 301-725-0416. Please call to find out if the Refuge/Research Center is closed or has a late opening.
out about upcoming events at Patuxent over email! To subscribe, send a
message to Jennifer_Hill@fws.gov and
enter 'subscribe' into the subject field.
Click here to see what is new on our web pages!
This site is administered by the U.S. Fish
& Wildlife Service, Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, Maryland.
If you have any questions or comments about this site please email Jennifer_Hill@fws.gov.
All images credit FWS unless otherwise noted.