Resource Management

Looking west over the Refuge from the tower.  Photo by L. Hubers/USFWS

The main habitats at Waubay National Wildlife Refuge include wetlands, woodlands and grasslands.


The main goals for habitat and wildlife management set forth in the Comprehensive Conservation Plan for Waubay Complex are:

■ Habitat Goal: To preserve, restore, and enhance the ecological
diversity of grasslands, wetlands, and native woodlands of the
Prairie Pothole Region of the Great Plains on Waubay National
Wildlife Refuge Complex.

■ Wildlife Goal: To promote a natural diversity and abundance of
native flora and fauna of the Prairie Pothole Region.

These goals are achieved using a variety of tools and techniques some of which include grazing, prescribed burning, restoration, haying, weed management, and rest when appropriate. We are constantly striving to maintain or improve refuge lands for the benefit of the wildlife that need these habitats. Many factors complicate the work including surrounding habitat (or lack of), size of tract, insufficient science or data, local weather conditions, as well as climate and landscape changes. See the pages on Wildlife and Habitat for more information.

Trapping Occurs on this Refuge

Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some national wildlife refuges. Trapping may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. Outside of Alaska, refuges that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a refuge special use permit. Signs are posted on refuges where trapping occurs. Contact the refuge manager for specific regulations.

Trapping on National Wildlife Refuges