Wildlife & Habitat


Chase Lake Refuge was established in 1908 by Executive Order under President Theodore Roosevelt as a reserve and breeding ground for native birds, making it the second oldest refuge in North Dakota and the fifteenth refuge in the country.  The refuge consists of 4,385 total acres, which 4,155 acres have been designated as wilderness area which was established in 1975 under the Wilderness Protection Act of 1964 and is home to one of the largest breeding colonies of American white pelicans in North America.

  • American White Pelican


    The American white pelican is one of those birds you just can't help but notice. It is one of the largest birds in North America, measuring 6 feet from bill to tail. White pelicans weigh up to 20 pounds and have a wingspan of 8 to 9 and a half feet long. Chase Lake has one of the largest white pelican nesting colonies in North America.

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  • Grasslands


    The 4,385 acre Refuge is composed of 50 percent water and 50 percent upland. About 2,330 acres consists of mixed-grass prairie in addition to tame grasses and legumes. The mixed-grass prairie is a mixture of short and mid-grasses dominated by blue grama and green needlegrass, with many species of wildflowers.

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  • Wetlands


    The Refuge lies on the Missouri Coteau, a scenic area of sharp rolling hills dotted with thousands of various-sized wetlands. The 4,385 acre Refuge is composed of 50 percent water and 50 percent upland. Chase Lake itself comprises 2,053 acres and lies totally within the Refuge boundary. Chase Lake is highly alkaline, has no outlet and supports no aquatic vertebrates.

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  • Pollinators


    Pollinators are nearly as important as sunlight, soil and water to the reproductive success of over 75% of the world's flowering plants. They are crucial to the production of most fruits, nuts and berries on which wildlife and people depend.

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