National Wildlife Refuge
|1 Wildlife Circle
Austwell, TX 77950
Phone Number: 361-286-3559
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
|Aransas NWR is the wintering location for the last migrating population of whooping cranes.|
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
The bugle of an endangered whooping crane echoes across the far reaches of the marsh. Only at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge do North America's tallest birds find an enduring winter stronghold. Here, too, pelicans, herons, egrets, roseate spoonbills, ducks, and geese dine in brackish waters and salt marshes teeming with fish, blue crabs, and clams. On shore, javelinas, bobcats, and deer wander oak woodlands. Alligators peer from still waters of ponds and sloughs. Ringed by tidal marshes and broken by long, narrow sloughs, this 59,000-acres refuge sprawls mostly across the Blackjack penisula, where grasslands, live oaks, and redbay thickets cover deep sandy soils. Storms and waters of the Gulf of Mexico constantly reshape this vital refuge, home to over 400 different bird species.
Getting There . . .
From the south, follow Hwy. 35N to the FM 774 exit. Turn right on FM 774 and go approx. 6 miles, winding through the farm fields. Turn right again on FM 2040. Go another 6 miles to the Refuge gate. Go to the Visitor Center to register.
From the north, travel south on Hwy. 35 to Tivoli. Continue past Tivoli for approx. 1 mile to the FM 239 exit (on your left). Follow FM 239 to Austwell. Upon entering Austwell, FM 239 turns into FM 774 at the curve. Continue on FM 774. Follow 774 & take a right at the stop sign. Go down the end of the street. Take a right again. As you exit Austwell, drive ½ mile to the FM 2040 intersection. Go left on FM 2040 for about 6 miles to the Refuge gate. Go to the Visitor Center to register.
Get Google map and directions to this refuge/WMD from a specified address:
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The refuge protects the grassland meadows from invading scrub species through controlled or prescribed burning. Fire is used as a management tool to rid areas of invasive species and rejuvenate grasslands, benefitting native species of wildlife.