Supplied with water from the meandering Wild Rice River, the large wetlands at Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge attract hundreds of thousands of migratory waterfowl during spring and fall migration. The amazing flights of thousands of waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds are visible on the Refuge as they rest and feed on Refuge wetlands.

Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge also provides habitat for wildlife that make the prairie their year-round home. Mink, muskrat, coyote, badger, white-tailed deer, garter snakes, leopard frogs, painted turtles, and woodpeckers are some of the hardier species that have adapted and found a way to survive in North Dakota’s harsh climate. Butterflies, beetles, dragonflies and other insects abound as well, providing pollination to a host of native wildflowers and food for a variety of bird species.

Visit Us

The Refuge provides numerous recreation opportunities to visitors every season of the year. People can enjoy the prairie landscape and diverse wildlife, whether driving, bird and wildlife watching, photography, hiking, hunting, or fishing. Refuge staff help regulate recreational activities allow people to enjoy the Refuge while still protecting the wildlife and habitats.

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge was established on June 26, 1945, as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. The Refuge protects 8,363 acres of wetland and grassland habitat in southeastern North Dakota, and is an important stopover for many species of birds as they journey north and south during their annual migrations.

      What We Do

      The Refuge provides food, water, shelter, and space for a variety of wildlife species, from the dainty butterfly to the large, elegant tundra swan. Refuge grasslands and wetlands are managed to meet the needs of a variety of migratory birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and insects. Habitat management focuses on migratory birds, especially the native species that depend on wetlands and grasslands.

      Our Species

      Multiple species of waterfowl and shorebirds use the Refuge as a wildlife sanctuary in great numbers during peak migration times. To protect these migratory animals, visitor access is restricted during peak migration. Summer months provide excellent viewing opportunities of local breeding birds species and other wildlife.