The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages an unparalleled network of public lands and waters called the National Wildlife Refuge System. With more than 560 refuges spanning the country, this system protects iconic species and provides some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on Earth.

What We Do

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Each unit of the Refuge System — whether it is a wildlife refuge, a marine national monument, a conservation area or a waterfowl production area — is established to serve a statutory purpose that targets the conservation of native species dependent on its lands and water. All activities on those acres are reviewed for compatibility with this statutory purpose.

The Refuge System deploys a host of scientifically sound management tools to address biological challenges. These tools, which range from active water management to wilderness character monitoring, all are aimed at ensuring a balanced conservation approach that enables wildlife and people to thrive. 

Through partnerships, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service leads the way in developing community-driven conservation solutions that reap ecological and economic benefits for fish, wildlife and people. Within the Refuge System, we work with landowners, Friends groups and local communities.

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Our Services

The National Wildlife Refuge System offers services to recreational visitors, neighboring private landowners and local communities.

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The Refuge System protects some of the country’s most iconic ecosystems and the fish and wildlife that rely on them: prairies of the heartland, teeming with native pollinators and bison; hardwood forests of the Southeast, a source of regional and cultural pride; and desert Southwest landscapes,...