Wildlife & Habitat
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge was established to provide habitat for migratory birds. Estuary habitat is essential for migratory birds of every sort, and approximately 85% of estuarine habitat throughout Puget Sound has been destroyed by human encroachment and development; for this reason, protected lands like Nisqually NWR are critical to the continued survival of migratory birds. In addition to protecting waterfowl, the diversity of habitats that exist in a natural estuary also provide food for seabirds, shorebirds, songbirds and raptors. In order to improve habitat for the full range of species present, the Refuge recently restored 732 acres of estuary by removing over five miles of dike.
Over 200 species of bird visit the Refuge over the course of the year. The concentrated diversity of habitats found on an estuary ensure visitation by large quantities of song birds, water fowl, raptors and shorebirds.
The numerous fresh water ponds and marshes of the Refuge produce a variety of emergent aquatic vegetation and are usually bordered by riparian areas. These habitats attract all species of wildlife and are especially critical to the survival of many mammalian species.Learn More
Amphibians & Reptiles
The rainy climate and local wetlands make Nisqually NWR an ideal environment for a variety of reptiles and amphibians.Learn More
The Nisqually River hosts at least four species of salmonid. These species depend on the mixed salinity water of the estuary as a transitional time before their journey upstream to reproduce.Learn More
Conservation of wildlife, fish and plant species that are endangered or threatened is a key goal of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Many such species occur at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Our management practices take into account species listed by both State and Federal governments.Learn More
There is nothing more critical to the establishment of healthy animal communities than habitat. At the Refuge, at least seven distinct natural habitats work together to create a richness of biodiversity rare even for the Pacific Northwest.Learn More
Page Photo Credits canada geese, ©John Whitehead, frog, ©John Whitehead, marsh wren, ©John Whitehead, muskrat feeding by ©i'ina van Lawick, Peregrine Falcon, ©i'ina van Lawick, coho salmon, USFWS
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2013