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Lower Rio Grande Valley
National Wildlife Refuge

3325 Green Jay Road
Alamo, TX   78516
E-mail: christine_donald@fws.gov
Phone Number: 956-784-7500
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
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Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge
On the most southern tip of Texas, where the Rio Grande empties into the Gulf of Mexico, is one of the most biologically diverse National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) in the system, the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) NWR. This wildlife corridor refuge follows the final 275 miles of the Rio Grande. Along the way, it provides important habitat for a variety of wildlife that cannot be seen anywhere else in the United States.

Getting There . . .
Headquarters for Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR and the South Texas NWR Complex is at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 7 miles south of Alamo on FM 907 and 1/4 mile east on U.S. Highway 281.

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Wildlife and Habitat

Like any good piece of real estate, it's all about location. Wildlife flourishes in such a dazzling array for that very reason. Consider the list of advantages of a warm climate year-round, a river flowing into the sea, eleven distinctive biological communities, and a pivotal position on the map.

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Coahuiltecan Indians and other tribes once hunted and gathered among groves of Texas palmetto, Sabal palm and ebony-anaqua woodlands. They tracked animals along a densely forested river, through brush and across tall grass prairies. The Rio Grande ran full, its waters periodically flooding the river forests with life-giving nutrients.

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Management Activities
Because 95% of the habitat in the region has been cleared, the LRGV NWR is working to protect and restore a diverse plant community critical to a tremendous variety of wildlife. The Refuge is comprised of more than 100 separate tracts of land. Some of these tracts are fallow farm fields and were purchased because they connect healthy habitat that can become travel corridors for wildlife.

To restore the habitat on these tracts, the LRGV NWR collects and grows native plant seeds at an on-site nursery and with the help of local growers. Cooperative agreements are in place with farmers who then plant the native seedlings on the Refuge and help restore habitat and protect biodiversity. Wetlands management is also a priority for the LRGV NWR. “Resacas” are wetlands along the Rio Grande that historically were refilled when the river overflowed its banks. Over time, these important wetlands have been cut off from the river and many have been converted to other land uses. LRGV NWR has an active management approach to improving and restoring resacas for the benefit of wildlife. To mimic the flooding of the Rio Grande, biologists use pumps and other infrastructure to deliver water to these crucial wetlands to provide water and habitat for nesting, resting and feeding wetland-dependent wildlife.