Bayou Sauvage Urban National Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans is one of the last remaining marsh areas adjacent to Lakes Pontchartrain and Borgne. The refuge contains a variety of wildlife habitats — including patches of bottomland hardwood forest, freshwater, brackish and estuarine tidal marshes, lagoons, canals, and natural bayous. These habitats are a haven for wildlife and a great place to enjoy nature.
Outlines of a turtle, fish, bighorn sheep, great blue heron and flower, Walk for the Wild logo
Walk for the Wild a Celebration of National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 8 - 15

We're on a mission to empower wildlife and humans to thrive. Our challenge for National Wildlife Refuge Week is to get people moving a distance of 5K in nature and to raise funds in support of your National Wildlife Refuges in Southeast Louisiana. Join the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, Inc. on a Walk for the Wild to raise awareness and funds for your wildlife refuges. 

Want to learn about nature and have a chance to win prizes as you Walk for the Wild?  Participate in a Nature Photo Hunt, or you record your nature observations using the iNaturalist app! Learn more at www.flwr.org

Visit Us

Bayou Sauvage Urban National Wildlife Refuge is rich in wildlife and in recreation opportunities. It is a popular place to enjoy fishing, crabbing, hiking, paddling, bird watching, nature photography, youth waterfowl hunting, self-guided tours, and interpretive and educational programs.

Birding

Fishing

Hiking

Hunting

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Bayou Sauvage Urban National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1990, is located in New Orleans. One of the last remaining marsh areas adjacent to Lakes Pontchartrain and Borgne, the refuge contains a variety of wildlife habitats which are an important stopover on the Mississippi Flyway, and support approximately 340 bird species throughout the year. The American alligator is a common sight at the refuge

      What We Do

      Refuge staff use a variety of resource management techniques to maintain, recover or enhance plants and wildlife and the habitats they rely on. Prescribed burning, water management, mowing, using biological control to reduce invasive species invasive species
      An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

      Learn more about invasive species
      , and marsh grass and tree planting are a few ways we help native plants and wildlife to thrive on the refuge. One of the key objectives of the refuge is to provide opportunities for fish and wildlife-dependent public uses and recreation in an urban setting. The refuge also helps protect east New Orleans from hurricane storm surge.

      Our Organization

      The refuge, located within the city of New Orleans, offers opportunities to connect with nature and experience wildlife. The Urban Wildlife Refuge Program at Bayou Sauvage reaches beyond refuge boundaries and into communities to help them to experience and enjoy these public lands and the wildlife that lives there. The refuge is part of the Urban Bird Treaty Program and is managed to enhance the populations of migratory, shore, and wading birds within the refuge. 

      The Urban Wildlife Conservation Program improves lives by expanding access to green space, education and outdoor recreation for Americans living in and around cities. Program members work to clear social and historical barriers and foster new connections that advance conservation and strengthen...

      Our Species

      Refuge habitats include emergent marsh, both tidally influenced and impounded by levees; old natural levee ridges with oak and mixed hardwood forest; spoil banks; canals; bayous; and shallow open water lakes. These habitats support a diversity of terrestrial and aquatic plants and wildlife. The freshwater lagoons, bayous and lakes produce largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, and crawfish. The marshes along Lakes Pontchartrain and Borgne serve as estuarine nurseries for fish and crabs. Bayou Sauvage's marshes and waterways provide food and shelter for over 340 species of birds. From pelicans to phalaropes, buntings to buffleheads, there are always birds to see and hear on the refuge. Watch for alligators along the waterways, but be sure to keep a respectful and safe distance. Feeding wildlife is prohibited, it is unhealthy for the animals and is unsafe for visitors. 
       

      Our Library

      chart with columns and rows depicting refuges and species and seasons for hunting

      Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges 2022-2023 Hunt season table

      Projects and Research

      Restoration of the Ridge project: This post-Hurricane Katrina project aims to restore a mixed hardwood forest which suffered extensive damage due to saltwater and wind. Since 2005, local schoolchildren and community volunteers have been planting trees and removing invasive species invasive species
      An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

      Learn more about invasive species
      at this site. An interpretive boardwalk trail explores this area.