Mountain-Prairie Region Refuges
Mountain-Prairie Region
Montana Refuges

Montana Refuge Location Map Swan Lake NWR Northwest Montana WMD Bowdoin NWR Medicine Lake NWR Red Rock Lakes NWR Lee Metcalf NWR Pablo NWR Ninepipe NWR Losttrail NWR National Bison Range Charles M.Russell NWR Benton Lake NWR


Photos of wildlife found in Montana National Wildlife RefugesMontana has twenty-one National Wildlife Refuges and five Wetland Management Districts.

Benton Lake NWR is recognized by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network as an internationally significant shorebird site.

Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge
922 Bootlegger Trail
Great Falls, MT 59404-6133

People come from all over to view grassland songbirds such as the Baird's sparrow and Spragues pippit at Bowdoin NWR.  The 15-mile auto tour adjacent Lake Bowdoin gives visitors a closeup view of migratory birds such as ducks and geese resting and feeding on the marshes of Bowdoin in the fall and white pelicans, Caspian terns, California and ring-billed gulls, double-crested cormorants, and great blue herons nesting on islands in Lake Bowdoin in the spring.

Charles M. Russell NWR is the largest Refuge in Montana, containing 1,100,000 acres.  The Refuge includes native prairies, forested coulees, river bottoms, and badlands.  Wildlife on the Refuge is as diverse as the topography.  Visitors can see Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, pronghorn, prairie dogs, and over 236 species of birds.

Lee Metcalf NWR offers scenic mountain views of a wide variety of migratory birds, including nesting osprey and bald eagles.

Medicine Lake NWR has one of the largest white pelican rookeries left in the United States. This magnificent white bird with its 9-foot wingspan can commonly be observed soaring over the Refuge during the summer.  Over 4,000 pelicans are generally produced each year.  For birders, the number one grassland bird at the Refuge is the Baird's sparrow.

Established in 1908, the National Bison Range is the first land Congress appropriated funds to purchase for the benefit of wildlife.  In addition to approximately 390 bison, the Range provides viewing opportunities along the auto tour route for other large mammals such as elk, deer, antelope, bighorn sheep, bear, the occassional mountain lion, and an abundance of prairie and woodland bird species.

Red Rock Lakes NWR is primarily a high elevation mountain wetland-riparian area set in a wilderness setting.  The Refuge was established in 1935 to protect the rare trumpeter swan.  Today, the Refuge continues to be one of the most important habitats in North America for these majestic birds.

Last updated: December 8, 2016