National Wildlife Refuge
|P.O. Box 5839
Ventura, CA 93005
Phone Number: 805-343-9151
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge
The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Refuge is located along the central coast of California, in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and farmland to the east, the refuge encompasses one of the largest coastal dune systems remaining in California.
The refuge is situated in the heart of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Preserve, a partnership program among Federal, State, and private landowners for the cooperative management of coastal resources. This cooperative effort enables all partners to share limited resources to meet common goals, such as endangered species management and the removal of invasive species that threaten this fragile habitat.
The refuge was established to protect breeding habitat for the endangered California least tern and the threatened western snowy plover. The refuge also provides habitat for other endangered species, including the California tiger salamander (recently listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act), California red-legged frog, Morro blue butterfly, shoulder band dune snail, and 16 rare or endangered plant species.
Other recovering endangered species that use the refuge include large flocks of brown pelicans and a pair of peregrine falcons. The refuge contains healthy populations of mule deer, bobcat, and mountain lion, as well as large flocks of wintering shore birds and waterfowl.
The refuge is situated in a remote location within the greater Guadalupe-Nipomo Dune Preserve. Public access is provided by neighboring State and County park property. The refuge offers a unique wilderness experience not found in the other parts of the Preserve.
Getting There . . .
The refuge office is located along Highway 1, at 1045 Guadalupe Street, Guadalupe, California. Traveling from Highway 101, take Highway 166 (Main Street) south 9 miles to Guadalupe Street.
Turn right and travel 1 mile to 1045 Guadalupe Street. The north entrance to the refuge near Oso Flaco Lake, is reached from Oso Flaco Lake Road about 3 miles north of the town of Guadalupe off Highway 1.
The south entrance to the refuge is via West Main Street (heading west, Highway 166) from the south end of the town of Guadalupe from Highway 1. The refuge is administered by Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Ventura, California.
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Refuge management programs focus on habitat and wildlife management, population monitoring, public use and wildlife-dependent recreational activities, interagency and public coordination, and development of refuge partners. Habitat and Wildlife Management: The refuge manages for 18 species of rare, endangered, and sparsely distributed native plants occurring on the refuge.
Development along the central California coast has reduced the coastal dune scrub community to less than 10% of its historic distribution. Significant strands of this habitat are on the refuge. To protect this habitat, the refuge is actively restoring areas infested with invasive plant species through partnerships with nonprofit groups who have been mapping and monitoring the presence of infestation.
Population Monitoring: The refuge has an active monitoring program for threatened and endangered species. Working in partnership with neighboring landowners, the refuge monitors breeding success of western snowy plovers and California least terns. Midwinter waterfowl surveys and ongoing rare plant mapping are other programs the refuge has initiated.
Interagency and Public Coordination: The refuge works with other Federal, State, and local agencies to manage resources throughout this coastal area, and develop formal agreements to meet common management goals within this fragile coastal habitat. The Dunes Center, a nonprofit partner, helps coordinate with the refuge to conduct outreach programs educating people about importance of coastal resources and the listed species present.
They have formed a monthly Dunes Forum where the public and land management agencies who manage the dunes meet to share information relating to the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Preserve. This has increased public understanding of issues affecting coastal resources and promoted partnerships.Learn More>>