National Wildlife Refuge
61389 Hwy. 434
Lacomb, LA 70445
Phone Number: 985-882-2000
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|Theodore Roosevelt sits on the newly formed refuge, This refuge turns 100 in 2004!|
Breton National Wildlife Refuge
The Breton National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1904 and is the second oldest refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge System. The refuge is comprised of a series of barrier islands including Breton Island and all of the Chandeleur Islands in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. It was formed from the remnants of the Mississippi River's former St.Bernard Delta, which was active 2000 years ago. The barrier islands' size and shapes constantly are altered by tropical storms, wind, and tidal action. In 1975, the refuge was established as a National Wilderness Area. And in 1990, an agreement with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorizing the service management rights and law enforcement authority on additional State of Louisiana owned lands. The agreement increased the refuge by an additional 11,350 acres for a total of 18,273 acres. Today,due to storms and hurricanes the islands comprise only a few thousand acres.
The objectives for the refuge are to provide sanctuary for nesting and wintering seabirds, protect and preserve the wilderness character of the islands, and provide sandy beach habitat for a variety of wildlife species. Twenty-three species of seabirds and shorebirds frequently use the refuge, and thirteen species nest on the various islands. The most abundant nesters are brown pelicans, laughing gulls, and royal, caspian, and sandwich terns. The refuge provides important wintering habitat for the endangered piping plover. Over ten thousand brown pelicans have been recorded nesting on the refuge. Waterfowl winter near the refuge islands and benefit from adjacent shallows, marshes, and sounds for feeding and protection during inclement weather. Redheads and lesser scaup account for most waterfowl numbers.
Getting There . . .
Please call the refuge office for directions to the refuge. The only access to the refuge is by boat.
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The refuge is considered a wilderness area and management activities are limited. A series of sand fencing has been placed on Bthe refuge to study the accumulation of sand in an attempt to offer additional protection from tropical storms, hurricanes, and tidal action.
Bird colony and nest counts are performed yearly to determine population densities and dynamics.
The banding of brown pelicans is a management study to determine migrations and nesting characteristics of the species.