Where Wildlife Comes First
Refuges are managed for wildlife and habitat and to ensure future generations
will always have wild places to explore!
Enjoy this video by Texas Parks and
Wildlife on the refuge’s efforts to learn about and protect Rafinesque’s
Champion Lake and Pickett’s
Bayou are popular places to enjoy birdwatching, canoeing, hiking, and fishing.
Don't forget your camera!
During the summer, swallow-tailed
kites can be seen soaring over the Trinity River or nesting in the refuge’s tall
In 1904, the last ivory-billed
woodpecker collected in Texas was on land that is today part of the Trinity
River National Wildlife Refuge.
In 1903 President
Theodore Roosevelt established the Pelican Island Bird Reservation, the first of
53 federal reserves he would create during his time in office and the roots of
what is today known as the National Wildlife Refuge System. The 26th president
was a dedicated naturalist throughout his life and is considered by many to have
been the country’s “Conservationist President.”The
About the NWRS
The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.
Learn more about the NWRS
While fire as a
management tool is not typically associated with bottomland hardwood forests, it
helps shape the higher pine ridges and grasslands by keeping them from becoming
overrun by woody vegetation. Many grassland birds are dependent upon the
pockets of grasslands found on the refuge, including the Henslow’s sparrow.
This species winters on the refuge and is a concern to biologists as its
population has declined over the past few decades, largely due to habitat loss.
To encourage winter forage for the Henslow’s sparrows, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
wildland firefighters conducted a controlled burn on 23 acres of pasture to
prevent woody encroachment in the pockets of grasslands. Refuge biologists are
monitoring the area to see if the prescribed burn will benefit the migratory
bird, and other wildlife.
maternal colony of Rafinesque’s big-eared bats documented in Texas can be found
roosting at Trinity River Refuge. Rafinesque’s are found in older growth
bottomland hardwood forests where they have a lot of space between trees,
perfect for feeding on insects. They have rabbit-like ears essential for
echolocation and to hunting and navigating through the forest at
Page Photo Credits All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Champion Lake / Chuck Gonzalez ©, Anole / Tucker Green ©, Swallow-tailed kite / Shannon Tompkins ©, Ivory-billed woodpecker / Joel Sartore ©, Henslow's Sparrow / USFWS, Rafinesque's big-eared bat / Merlin D. Tuttle ©
Last Updated: Oct 07, 2013