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Bayou Teche
National Wildlife Refuge

3599 Bayou Black Dr.
houma, LA   70360
E-mail: bayouteche@fws.gov
Phone Number: 337-828-0092
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Refuge staff working with Louisiana's teachers to learn more about the refuge and its mission species, the threatened Louisiana Black Bear.
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Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge

Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge, established in 2001, is located in St. Mary Parish in southeast Louisiana. The 9,028 acre refuge is composed of cypress-tupelo swamp and wet bottomland hardwoods laced with bayous and canals. The primary mission of the refuge is to preserve and manage habitat for the threatened Louisiana black bear. Other objectives are to provide habitat for other fish and wildlife species, environmental education, and opportunities for public recreation.

The refuge provides important habitat for the Louisiana black bear, a federally threatened subspecies of the American black bear. It also provides excellent habitat for wading birds, neotropical songbirds, waterfowl, and reptiles and amphibians. The refuge is open year round to the public from sunrise to sunset, with seasonal restrictions in some areas. The refuge can be accessed by vehicle, foot, or boat. Wildlife observation, boating and fishing are allowed on the refuge year round except in areas closed to public access. Hunting is permitted on the refuge in specific areas and under date, time, and lottery restrictions

Getting There . . .
The refuge is located around the south central Louisiana towns of Franklin, Garden City and Centerville. The refuge lands can be accessed by vehicle, boat, and foot. The refuge office is located at 1725 Willow St. in Franklin. If traveling from New Orleans on Hwy 90 (Future I-49) exit at Garden City, take Hwy 3215 north to Hwy 182, Turn west (left) on Hwy 182 and proceed 1.2 miles toward Franklin. Hwy 182 intersects Willow St. in the middle of downtown Franklin at the St. Mary parish court house. Turn west (left) on Willow St. and the refuge office is 1.4 miles ahead on the left. The office is staffed intermittently, but an information kiosk at the site provides information and refuge brochures.

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Wildlife and Habitat

The Refuge is composed primarily of wet cypress-tupelo swamp, common to this area of south central Louisiana. It also incorporates some areas of bottomland hardwood forests, found in areas subject to maintained (pumped) drainage management.

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The Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge was established in 2001 by the purchase of lands in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, the 538th Refuge established in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge is one of the newest refuges in the system. Management activities are few and staff is shared from the nearby Mandalay NWR. Personnel are working to manage recreation, provide outreach to the local community, and monitor bear and andother wildliife populations.