Stretching inland from the Gulf beaches into the bottomland forests of the Brazos and San Bernard River basins, San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge provides vital habitat for migrating and wintering birds as well as resident wildlife. The refuge manages a diverse array of habitats across the landscape including salt marshes and saltwater lakes, coastal prairies, freshwater lakes and marshes, intermittent streams, and riparian and bottomland forests. The refuge has several recreation areas for people to enjoy the diverse habitats and populations of migratory and resident wildlife that call San Bernard home. The refuge supports a diversity of coastal wildlife, including more than 320 species of birds, 95 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 450 species of butterflies and dragonflies.
Northern Shovelers
*UPDATE on Sargent Unit Permit Waterfowl Hunts - 2022-2023*

After the rainfall we received in the area in recent weeks, we now have sufficient water in the waterfowl hunt areas on the Sargent Unit to open them for hunting after the split. We will proceed with the drawing on Wednesday, December 7th, at 0900. The drawing will include remaining hunt dates for the 2022-2023 season, and all applicants who previously submitted lottery applications will be in the pool for remaining dates.

For more information on other areas open to waterfowl hunting, check out our page on Hunting at San Bernard NWR, located here.

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San Bernard is a very diverse national wildlife refuge, stretching inland from the Gulf coast across saline and freshwater marshes and up the Brazos and San Bernard river watersheds, protecting varied habitats ranging from coastal marshes and freshwater wetlands, to upland prairies and bottomland hardwood forests. Whether gazing out across saline marshes, or under a dense canopy of oak, pecan, and green ash trees, the refuge is reminiscent of what the American settlers to Texas experienced 200 years ago. With three recreation areas and 10 trails, San Bernard has a lot to explore.

Location and Contact Information

      Our Species

      San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge is home to a diversity of migratory and resident wildlife.  From saline marshes supporting wintering waterfowl and water birds, to the inland bottomland forests supporting migrating Nearctic-neotropical songbirds and resident wildlife, the refuge is important for conservation of wildlife.

      Size: 18 cm (7.25 in) in length. Color: Breeding season: Pale brown above, lighter below; black band across forehead; bill orange with black tip; legs orange; white rump. Male: Complete or incomplete black band encircles the body at the breast. Female: Paler head band; incomplete breast band....

      FWS Focus

      The Kemp's ridley turtle is the smallest of the sea turtles, with adults reaching about 2 feet in length and weighing up to 100 pounds. The adult Kemp's ridley has an oval carapace that is almost as wide as it is long and is usually olive-gray in color. The carapace has five pairs of costal...

      FWS Focus

      The American Bittern is a medium-sized heron of approximately 60-85cm in length. Adult plumage is brown with heavy white streaks. A distinguishing feature of this bird is a black streak that extends from the eye down the side of its neck. Males and females are similar in appearance, but males...

      FWS Focus

      The American alligator is a large, semi-aquatic, armored reptile that is related to crocodiles. Their body alone ranges from 6 - 14 feet long. Almost black in color, the it has prominent eyes and nostrils with coarse scales over the entire body. It has a large, long head with visible upper teeth...

      FWS Focus