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Information iconAmerican alligator, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. (Photo: Stacy Shelton/USFWS)

Some animals we thrill to see can’t be found in backyards or city streets. These creatures need the space and food sources and conditions that national wildlife refuges provide. The chance of spotting wildlife in its natural habitat is one big reason Americans visit refuges.

Some colorful species— including bald eagles, brown pelicans, Louisiana black bears and American alligators — once ranked as endangered until refuges helped restore their health and numbers. Seeing wild creatures, from insects to birds, fish to mammals, spurs our curiosity and wonder at the interrelationships of living creatures and our place in the web of life.

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Mammal Madness
Information iconKodiak brown bear, Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. (Photo: Lisa Hupp/USFWS)