When was it established?April 1, 1986. How big is it?4,093 acres. Why is it here?The refuge was originally established to assure the continuing existence, and aid in recovery of, the federally listed endangered and threatened Ozark cave species, including the Ozark big-eared bat, gray bat, Indiana bat, and the Ozark cavefish. The refuge was also established to protect large continuous stands of Ozark forests essential to migratory interior forest birds dependent on this important ecosystem. What can I do there?The refuge is closed to the general public but we do offer scheduled environmental education programs and events. Research and other wildlife-dependent opportunities are also available. For more information, contact the refuge. (link to contact us page) Can I bring and release wildlife on the refuge?Releasing any animal (wildlife or unwanted pets) on the Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge is illegal and subject to a fine.
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Below the surface, carved by water and time, an underground labyrinth is home to a myriad of species living in dark passages hidden and undisturbed.