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whooping crane

May is Magnificent Whooping Crane Month
at the National Wildlife Visitor Center
Activities and Programs for all ages - Free
 See our Flyer with all the details.
whooping crane

Nature's Images Photography Workshop
Presented by the award-winning artist Sol Levine
National Wildlife Visitor Center
Saturday, May 10,   9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Get The Whole Story  Registration Required by April 29  $$

branch with leaves

NEW!   Extended Hours
for Trails and Grounds of the National Wildlife Visitor Center
Starting Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Open Daily: Sunrise to Sunset (except Federal holidays)

See the complete NWVC hours schedule



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.

E-mailFind 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.

NewClick 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.


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