Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1946 to provide habitat for wintering waterfowl and other migratory birds, principally redhead ducks. Today, there is an expanded emphasis that includes endangered species conservation and management for shorebirds. The refuge is a premiere bird-watching destination with more recorded species of birds than any other refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge System. The largest population of ocelots in the United States calls the refuge home, making it the center for conservation and recovery efforts for this endangered cat.
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge encompasses more than 120,000 acres, a portion of which are open to the public for wildlife related activities like wildlife watching, hunting, fishing, photography and environmental education.
It is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a national network of lands and waters set aside for the benefit of wildlife and you.
Bahia Grande unit - In 2000, Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge acquired the 21,700 acre Bahia Grande Unit located between the towns of Laguna Vista and Brownsville, Texas. Almost half of the unit is wetlands, including the 6,500 acre Bahia Grande basin for which the tract of land was named.
South Padre Island unit - With the help of The Nature Conservancy, the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge now includes a significant amount of habitat on South Padre Island. In 2000, The Nature Conservancy acquired 24,532 acres on the north end of South Padre Island, including more than eight miles of beachfront that were ultimately transferred to the refuge.
The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and, where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.
Everywas created for a special purpose. Some were created to protect migratory birds, others to protect threatened or endangered species or unique habitats, while others fulfill another special purpose. Refuges are special places where wildlife comes first. All activities allowed on refuges must be evaluated to make sure each activity will not conflict with the reason the refuge was founded.
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge was established to provide habitat for wintering waterfowl and other migratory birds, principally the Redhead ducks. More species of birds have been recorded at Laguna Atascosa (417) than at any other national wildlife refuge in the nation.
1946 - Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge was established to provide habitat for wintering waterfowl and other migratory birds.
1970 - Archery hunts have been held annually since 1970.
1979 - Firearm hunts have been held annually since 1979.