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National Wildlife Refuge

10811 Corcoran Rd
Delano, CA   93215
E-mail: nick_stanley@fws.gov
Phone Number: 661-725-2767
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Kern National Wildlife Refuge

Kern National Wildlife Refuge is located in the southern portion of California's San Joaquin Valley, 20 miles west of the city of Delano. Situated on the southern margin of what was once the largest freshwater wetland complex in the western United States, Kern Refuge provides optimum wintering habitat for migratory birds with an emphasis on waterfowl and water birds.

Through restoration and maintenance of native habitat diversity, the refuge also provides suitable habitat for several endangered species as well as preserving a remnant example of the historic valley uplands in the San Joaquin Desert. Approximately 5,500 visitors annually participate in refuge programs ranging from waterfowl hunting to wildlife viewing.

Getting There . . .
From Interstate 5: At Lost Hills and Interstate 5, take Highway 46 east 5 miles to Corcoran Road and turn north. Drive 10.6 miles to the refuge at the intersection of Corcoran Road and Garces Highway.

From Highway 99: At Delano, exit Highway 99 at the Highway 155 exit. Turn south on Highway 155, which is Garces Highway. Travel 19 miles west on Garces Highway to the refuge entrance at the intersection of Corcoran Road and Garces Highway.

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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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Kern Refuge is located in the historic Tulare Lake Basin. One hundred years ago, this area was covered by an inland lake and wetland complex totaling over 625,000 acres. The refuge is one of the few remaining wetlands left in the area. Over 50% of the refuge is diked impoundments for migrating and wintering waterfowl and waterbirds.

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Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
Water level manipulation takes place to mimic wetland cycles thereby providing habitat for winter migrants. Wetland units are periodically rehabilitated to improve habitat for a variety of birds. Prescribed fire is utilized to assist with wetland rehabilitation. Livestock grazing is utilized in the Research Natural Area in the management of endangered species habitat.

The blunt-nosed leopard lizard and Tipton's kangaroo rats habitat has changed radically due to impacts from the early settlers in California. The perennial bunch grass grasslands have been taken over by exotic annual grasses changing the structure of their habitat. Grazing is utilized to thin out and reduce the biomass improving their ability to find holes and escape routes.

The refuge is in the early planning phases of a salt cedar control/eradication program. Approximately 25% of the refuge is cover with this invasion, exotic tree which was introduced in the early 1800s and become a major problem in many arid regions of the southwestern United States. As funding and staffing become available this project will proceed.

Periodic aerial waterfowl surveys are conducted through out the Southern San Joaquin Valley during the fall and winter months. Other surveys species surveyed on the refuge include tricolored blackbird, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, raptor and shorebird.