National Wildlife Refuge
|35704 County Highway 26
Rochert, MN 56578
Phone Number: 218-847-2641
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
|Timber wolves are occasionally seen at Tamarac Refuge.|
Continued . . . Vegetation and wildlife are diverse due to the refuge's location in the transition zone between northern hardwood and coniferous forests. Sixty percent of the refuge is forested. Aspen, jack pine, red pine, balsam fir, paper birch, red and white oak, sugar maple and basswood are dominant types.
The tallgrass prairie begins about 10 miles west of Tamarac. Numerous pockets of native big bluestem remain on the refuge, indicating that, historically, the tallgrass prairie extended into the refuge. About 1,500 acres of Tamarac are grassland, mostly remnants of early settler clearings or small farms. Wildflowers abound through the spring and summer seasons.
The Egg and Buffalo rivers begin on the refuge, and the Ottertail starts just upstream; all eventually run into the Red River of the North. There are twenty-one lakes on the refuge. Many of these lakes contain large wild rice beds which produce abundant waterfowl food in most years.
Bald eagles are common, with up to 23 pairs producing as many as 33 young in recent years. Trumpeter swans were reintroduced to the area in the early 1980s and now produce as many as 48 cygnets annually.
Tamarac is a major stop on the Pine to Prairie Birding Trail of Northwest Minnesota. Visitors often see common loons, red-shouldered and broad-winged hawks, marsh wrens, red-necked grebes, kingfishers, common yellowthroats, and the Eastern bluebird. The sounds of drumming ruffed grouse, red-winged blackbirds and wood frogs are plentiful in the spring.
Two packs of gray (timber) wolves find their home in the refuge. Rarely seen are the few moose that roam the shrub swamps. Mammal sightings can include porcupine, mink, fisher, otter, beaver and badger.
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