U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
Banner graphic displaying the Fish & Wildlife Service logo and National Wildlife Refuge System tagline

National Wildlife Refuge

Karner blue butterfly on white flower
N11385 Headquarters Rd
Necedah, WI   54646 - 7531
E-mail: necedah@fws.gov
Phone Number: 608-565-2551
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
The Karner blue butterfly is just one of the endangered species that call Necedah Refuge "home."
Gray horizontal line
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge

Whooping cranes, wolves, Karner blue butterflies, and white-tailed deer call Necedah National Wildlife Refuge "home." Ringed bog hunter dragonflies live in sedge meadows, flying squirrels in upland hardwood timber. Trumpeter swans inhabit the marshes, and badgers the savanna. The habitat mosaic, maintained by prescribed burning, seasonal mowing, and timber clearing, attracts a wide range of wildlife. Each species and habitat is monitored and maintained to insure overall vigor of the ecosystem.

The 43,656-acre refuge was established in 1939 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.

Getting There . . .
Located in central Wisconsin, Necedah National Wildlife Refuge is 180 miles southeast of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and 150 miles northwest of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The refuge lies north of Highway 21 and west of Highway 80, with all but a few acres in Juneau County.

To reach the main entrance and office complex, travel 15 miles east on Highway 21 from Interstate 94 at Tomah, Wisconsin; or about three miles west on Highway 21 from Necedah, Wisconsin. Turn north onto Headquarters Road and travel about two miles to the headquarters.

Get Google map and directions to this refuge/WMD from a specified address:

Your full starting address AND town and state OR zip code

Google Maps opens in a new window

NOTE: When using this feature, you will be leaving the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service domain. We do not control the content or policies of the site you are about to visit. You should always check site policies before providing personal information or reusing content.

These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

horizontal line

Wildlife and Habitat

The refuge hosts a wealth of wildlife resources, including such endangered and threatened species as bald eagles, whooping cranes, Karner blue butterflies, Blanding's turtles, and timber wolves.

Learn More>>

Ten thousand years ago, retreating glaciers left behind vast peat bogs and sand ridges, creating the area known as the great Central Wisconsin Swamp or Marsh.

Learn More>>

    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
Wildlife Observation
Learn More >>

Management Activities
Biologists actively manage the refuge through water level manipulation, controlled grassland burning, and forest thinning.

Biologists adjust the water level on impoundments, drawing down the water in the spring and re-flooding in the fall. This cycle of drying and flooding increases the growth of plants that feed migratory waterfowl and shorebirds.

Controlled, or prescribed, burning maintains a diverse healthy ecosystem of wet prairie, upland grasses, and oak savanna. Prescribed fire on the refuge also reduces the potential of catastrophic wildland fire where wildland meets residential development. Approximately 2,000 acres are burned annually, mostly in the spring.

Forest thinning on the refuge brings back the native landscape. Before settlers drained wetlands and attempted farming, the landscape in central Wisconsin was open marshes or prairie with patches of oak savanna. Forest management is critical to maintain habitat for rare and endangered species, like the Karner blue butterfly.