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James River
National Wildlife Refuge

Flowerdew Hundred Road
Prince George, VA   23831
E-mail: cyrus_brame@fws.gov
Phone Number: 804 829 9020
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James River National Wildlife Refuge
James River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is one of four refuges that comprise the Eastern Virginia Rivers National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The Refuge encompasses 4,200 acres of forest and wetland habitats along the James River, bordered by Powells Creek to the west, and the historic Flowerdew Hundred Plantation to the east. Located in Prince George County, Virginia, the refuge is 8 miles southeast of the City of Hopewell and thirty miles southeast of the City of Richmond.

The Refuge was created in 1991 to protect nesting and roosting habitat for the threatened American bald eagle. A secondary objective is to provide an opportunity to view wildlife in its natural environment, so that the public may better appreciate the refuge's role in conservation of wildlife resources.

Getting There . . .
From Richmond, take Interstate 295 south to Route 10. Take Route 10 south/east toward Hopewell. After passing through Hopewell, proceed another 8 miles to Route 639. Take a left and look for the Refuge entrance sign.

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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.

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Wildlife and Habitat

Each summer, up to 2,000 bald eagles migrate north from southern breeding grounds to the Chesapeake Bay Region, a phenomenon unknown in other parts of the country. More than 230 individual eagles, the highest density on the James River, roost on Refuge lands. The proximity of ideal roosting trees to the River's excellent foraging habitat creates this spectacular wildlife phenomenon at the Refuge.

Breeding bird surveys, begun in 2000, have found an interesting assemblage of warblers and other songbirds. Among them are hooded warbler, pine warbler, prothonotary warbler, Acadian flycatcher, red-eyed vireo, and ovenbird. Nearly 50 species were recorded during the surveys, which are conducted in May and June.

Aside from eagles and songbirds, numerous raptors (hawks and owls) nests and hunt on the refuge. Populations of American wild turkey also enjoys the thick forest cover and hilly terrain of the James River Valley. Water birds (herons, egrets, ospreys, ducks, and geese) make use of the water features provided by the river and creeks which define a portion of the refuge boundary. Feathered animals are not the only ones that utilize the river and creeks. Alewives, American Shad, blueback herrings, gizzard shad, hickory shad, and striped bass find the area to be an important spawning and nursing site.

Mammals observed on the Refuge include beaver, muskrat, red fox, cottontail rabbit, grey squirrel, opossum, and white-tailed deer.

In regards to flora, the Refuge is rich in upland hardwood forest species such as elm, gum, and oak. Softwood loblolly pine remains in large tracts as a result of previous land uses. Plant species of particular importance include prairie senna, sensitive joint vetch, and Long's bittercrest. All three plants are globally rare and are candidates for listing as endangered species.

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The Nature Conservancy purchased 3,538 acres of land in May 1988 to ensure that continued use of the land by bald eagles would not be jeopardized. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service purchased the land from the Nature Conservancy in March 1991 under the authority of the Endangered Species Act. A 613 acre parcel known as Maycocks Point was purchased and added to the refuge in 1992 to further protect bald eagle habitat, including a major bald eagle feeding roost.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
Forest management is the single most important issue facing the Refuge today and into the future. Intensive management of the forest is required to maintain existing roosting sites, and to create additional nesting and roosting areas. Impending long term management strategies, such as thinning and prescribed burning, will sustain the value of Refuge forests for decades to come.

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