About the Refuge

Ellicott Unit

Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge is located in Santa Cruz County within the Monterey Bay area. The refuge, established in 1975 to protect the endangered Santa Cruz long-toed salamander, supports two of the 24 known breeding populations of the salamander.


When the California red-legged frog was listed as a threatened species in 1996 and the California tiger salamander in 2004, the purpose of the refuge expanded to include protection of these two species.  Over time more properties were added to the refuge.  The addition of the Calabasas Unit was significant because it supports Santa Cruz long-toed salamander and California red-legged frog breeding sites.  The addition of Harkins Slough Unit provides freshwater habitat for migratory birds.  Because of the sensitive nature of the habitat, the refuge is closed to visitors.

Read more about the refuge in Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge - Home of the Santa Cruz Long-toed Salamander.