12 Photos of Animals That Remind Us to Appreciate National Wildlife Refuges

I try to remember my camera when I go explore a National Wildlife Refuge, because they never disappoint. There’s an extensive list of species that depend on these lands for survival, and if you’re lucky, you might see some of them. These havens for wildlife deserve celebration, and since it’s National Wildlife Refuge Week, I’ve compiled photos of animals at wildlife refuges across the country. If it happens to inspire a fall adventure, you can find a National Wildlife Refuge near you with this interactive map!

Prairie dogs by Brandon Marling. Photo taken at Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma.

Prairie dogs by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Brandon Marling. Photo taken at Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma.

Burrowing owl by Sarah Chah at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge in California.

Burrowing owl by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Sarah Chah at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge in California.

Bison by Carol Ayers at the National Bison Range in Montana.

Bison by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Carol Ayers at the National Bison Range in Montana.

Chipmunk by Deidre Lantz at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Chipmunk by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Deidre Lantz at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Least bittern by Ronald Zigler at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsylvania.

Least bittern by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Ronald Zigler at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsylvania.

Fox by Stacey Steinberg at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware.

Fox by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Stacey Steinberg at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware.

Photo by Andy Nguyen at the J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.

Photo by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Andy Nguyen at the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.

Snowy egret by Joseph Giitter at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware.

Snowy egret by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Joseph Giitter at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware.

Photo by Scott Schuey at the Klamath Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Photo by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Scott Schuey at the Klamath Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Black bear by Jacqueline Orsulak at the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina.

Black bear by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Jacqueline Orsulak at the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina.

Owls by Lois Settlemeyer at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Washington.

Owls by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Lois Settlemeyer at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Washington.

Photo by Joyce Stefancic at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.

Photo by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Joyce Stefancic at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.

How to be a Wildlife Watcher

Step 1: Find a National Wildlife Refuge or other nature site near you.

Step 2: Print out a species list for the area you plan to explore.

Step 3: Record your observations (journal, drawings, photos, etc.).

Step 4: Return to Wildlife Watch and share your photos and stories.

Comment below with your favorite National Wildlife Refuge, stories and/or photos!

 

 

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