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Brazoria
National Wildlife Refuge


Two roseate spoonbills frolic in the water at Brazoria NWR.
24907 FM 2004
Angleton, TX   77515
E-mail: james_dingee@fws.gov
Phone Number: 979-964-4011 (Complex Office)
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
http://www.fws.gov/refuge/brazoria/
Roseate spoonbills are a common sight at Brazoria NWR.
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  Overview
Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge
The thunder of 40,000 snow geese taking flight, the salty breeze off the Texas Gulf, or the sight of a 12-foot alligator loafing on a muddy bank make a trip to Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge a sensory banquet in any season.

Brazoria is a vital complex of coastal wetlands and prairie harboring more than 300 bird species. The refuge serves as an end point of the Central Flyway for waterfowl in winter, and an entry point for neotropical migratory songbirds tired from a 600-mile Gulf crossing from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Near Greater Houston, the refuge offers haven for both wildlife and people. For wildlife, the expanse of salt and freshwater marshes, sloughs, ponds, and coastal prairies represent feasting and lodging for all or part of the year. For people, these vestiges of wild Texas offer exceptional wildlife watching.

Freshwater sloughs wind through salt marshes. Rare, native bluestem prairie grasses grace the uplands. The greater the number of habitats, the richer the ecology. Brazoria NWR is no exception. It has a key location on the Texas Gulf which helps Freeport draw one of the highest Audubon Christmas bird counts in the nation - more than 200 species.


Getting There . . .
From the intersection of Highway 288 and FM 523 in Angleton, take FM 523 to FM 2004 intersection. Continue on 523 for 5.5 miles to County Road 227. Turn left on CR 227 and proceed 1.7 miles to the refuge entrance and Big Slough public use area. The refuge office is located 5 miles northeast of the intersection of FM 523 and FM 2004 on FM 2004. The Refuge Complex Office is located on the San Bernard NWR. From the intersection of FM 2004 and SH 288 in Lake Jackson, Take FM 2004 west. FM 2004 becomes FM 2611 when you cross SH 36 south of Brazoria, Texas. Continue on FM 2611, crossing the San Bernard River. Continue 3.5 miles to County Road 316.


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Wildlife and Habitat

The 5,000 acres of native bluestem prairie on Brazoria NWR represent one of the last coastal prairies in Texas.

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History
The Karankawa Indians once thrived on this land's rich bounty of fish and wildlife. Long before the first European settlers, they paddled dugout canoes along the coast between Galveston and Matagorda Bays.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
Fishing
Hunting
Interpretation
Photography
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
The loss of 1.2 million acres of historic wetlands in Texas makes the remaining areas especially important for wildlife. That means refuge staff works hard to assure the refuges are providing the best possible coastal wetland habitats.

Fire recycles grassland nutrients, controls exotic brush that invades mottled duck nesting habitat, and cultivates early succession plants favored by waterfowl. Prescribed fires are conducted to replace the historic cycle of wildfires.

Restoration of coastal prairie habitats requires the control of exotic species, including Chinese tallow, and macartney rose. Over the past 6 years the Refuge has been restoring native prairie habitats where tallow thickets and old field habitats once stood.