The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) is located along the central Coast of California within the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex, an 18-mile-long coastal dunes landscape that occupies approximately 20,000 acres of southwestern San Luis Obispo County and northwestern Santa Barbara County and is a National Natural Landmark.

The Refuge was created to conserve central California coastal dune and associated wetlands habitats and support the recovery of native plants and animals that are federally listed as threatened or endangered. Home to more than 120 species of rare plants and animals, the refuge provides a safe place for species such as La Graciosa thistle, surf thistle, beach spectacle pod, giant coreopsis, California red-legged frog, western snowy plover, and California least tern.

Visit Us

Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge provides recreational opportunities for the public such as wildlife photography, wildlife viewing, and hiking trails.

The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset, and the refuge beach closure occurs from early March through late September each year to protect federally threatened western snowy plover habitat.

For more information on all the activities and how to enjoy the Refuge click below.

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      The 2,553-acre Refuge was established in 2000 and it was created to conserve central California coastal dune and associated wetlands habitats and support the recovery of native plants and animals that are federally listed as threatened or endangered.

      For more information on the mission and history of the refuge, please click the link below.

      What We Do

      The Refuge is currently being managed to preserve threatened and endangered species habitats, which includes protection from predators and 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
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      The purpose of a Comprehensive Conservation Plan or CCP is to specify a management direction for the Refuge for the next 15 years. Check out the CCP here.

      Our Species

      This species occurs from sea level to elevations of about 1,500 meters (5,200 feet). It has been extirpated from 70 percent of its former range and now is found primarily in coastal drainages of central California, from Marin County, California, south to northern Baja California, Mexico....

      FWS Focus

      Adult monarch butterflies are large and conspicuous, with bright orange wings surrounded by a black border and covered with black veins. The black border has a double row of white spots, present on the upper side of the wings. Adult monarchs are sexually dimorphic, with males having narrower...

      FWS Focus