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  • 08 Jun 2015 9:00 AM | Anonymous
    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service News

    Building Community Through a Refuge

    By Dan Ashe, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


    The Albuquerque Business Journal in March named 30 women from a highly competitive pool of 435 nominees as this year’s Women of Influence in the state of New Mexico. The Journal was looking for women who are leaders, innovators, mentors and role models. It comes as no surprise that Jennifer Owen-White, manager of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, was an honoree.


    Owen-White is pouring her heart and soul into Valle de Oro, the first urban refuge in the Southwest Region. And she is building the refuge with the people of Albuquerque. Valle de Oro is, “a refuge established, designed and built by the community for the community, and that is so exciting,” she says. That it is!


    “I often tell people that it is not my job as the refuge manager to build this refuge; it is my job to help the community build its national wildlife refuge,” she says.


    Throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System, our visitor services folks are engaging nearby communities and helping them build their connections to nature by answering their concerns and meeting their needs.


    Unless we act, many of today’s children will have few opportunities to experience nature. We have become a more diverse, more urban nation, and many kids don’t get a chance, like I did, to wander fields breathing in pristine air, to turn over rocks in creeks and find out what was hiding out there, to watch a bird of prey swoop down on a river and grab a fish with its talons.


    But visitor services folks are working tirelessly to find programs that do allow young people to connect with nature, even in the heart of a city like Albuquerque. At Valle de Oro Refuge, one project uses community gardens to help youth really get their hands dirty. Sometimes, geocaching or other adventures that use the latest technology get people out into nature.


    I know many refuges are holding fishing derbies for new anglers or wildflower walks or even “spring cleaning” events. That’s on top of the normal events that happen at refuges: teaching people about the amazing critters and beautiful places that we share the world with.


    Since I took this job, I have emphasized that priorities are making the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service relevant in people’s lives and ensuring that all Americans really see that what we do matters in their lives. We can’t afford to allow millions of kids to continue growing up with little understanding of the personal stake they have in healthy wildlife and ecosystems. A world without a conservation ethic is not a world friendly to humanity.


    For more stories like this, visit http://www.fws.gov/refuges/friends/newswire/



  • 07 Jun 2015 12:00 PM | Anonymous
    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service News

    20 Most Visited Refuges in Fiscal Year 2014


    National wildlife refuges attracted almost 47 million visitors in fiscal year 2014. According to the Refuge Annual Performance Plan, here are the 20 most-visited refuges:


     

    1 – Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon


    2 – Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, California/Arizona


    3 – Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois


     Photo by USFWS

    4 – Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma


    5 – Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, North Carolina


    6 – Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia


    7 – Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Florida



     Photo by USFWS

    8 – Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska


    9 – Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, Illinois


    10 – J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Florida


    11 – Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Alabama


    12 – Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California



     Photo by USFWS

    13 – National Elk National Wildlife Refuge, Wyoming


    14 – Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon



     Photo by USFWS

    15 – Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, Wisconsin


    16 – Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Massachusetts



     Photo by USFWS

    17 – Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, Hawaii


    18 – Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge, Hawaii


    19 – Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia


    20 – Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge, Tennessee


    For more stories like this, visit http://www.fws.gov/refuges/friends/newswire/

  • 29 May 2015 9:30 AM | Anonymous
    Friends of Anahuac Refuge
    Mini Gator Tales
    May 2015


    Family Fishing Day
    Saturday, June 6, 9am-1pm


    Anahuac NWR's Family Fishing Day even returns on Saturday, June 6, 2015. It will be held on Frozen Point at the refuge from 9am to 1pm. The first Saturday of June each year is the only day in Texas where everybody can fish without a license. This family-friendly event is suitable for all experience levels and open to the public. There will be volunteers helping rods and and casting, fish education, crafts, games, refuge information.

    The event is free and registration is not required.

    Visit our Fishing Day page on our website for more information about the event and how to volunteer at the event.

    Click here for printable map

    FOAR/Audubon Bird Surveys Continue

    David Sarkozi and Travis Lovelace at Birding Workshop, Spring 2015

    Consider completing a bird survey on your next trip to the refuge. The data collected supports ongoing bird studies on the upper Texas coast for the USFWS and Audubon Texas. The directions are simple:
    1) Got to a spot on the refuge and identify it and the weather on the form.
    2) Observe and record as many birds as you can from your spot for as little as 20 minutes at a time.
    3) Drop the form at the VIS or the VC before you leave or scan and email it Travis Lovelace at
     atl3454@windstream.net.
    4) Come back the next month and count birds again from the same spot. You will be surprised how many birds you can identify!

    Any experience level is welcome to complete forms as any data is useful!

    Click photo for Audubon TERN workshop video courtesy of Chambers Wild

    National Wildlife Refuge System News


    Mountain Bogs National Wildlife Refuge Established in North Carolina



    Bog turtle at Mountain Bogs NWR in North Carolina, photo by USFWS


    That National Wildlife Refuges System welcomes it's 563rd refuge. It could eventually preserve over 22,000 acres of wetlands in the Appalachian Mountains that are home to 5 endangered species, including the bog turtle.

    Read the story here


    Buy a Book About the Refuge...

    to Support the Refuge!


      The 50th anniversary books are for sale at the Visitor Center and Visitor Information Station as well as online on our book project page.  The book tells the story of the Anahuac NWR's 50th year through photographs and writing all done by volunteers. Profits from book sales go back to the Friends to pay for refuge projects.Check out an article from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service about the book here.


    Don't Forget to Renew Your Membership!

    Don't forget to renew your membership online via PayPal or by check in the mail.  When renewing, we also encourage you to receive our full quarterly newsletter Gator Tales, electronically.  It saves trees, saves us printing costs, and gets you access to more content.
    Send checks to:
    Friends of Anahuac RefugeP.O. Box 1348Anahuac, TX 77514 
    Bullfrog at Anahuac NWR
    Photo by Joe Blackburn

    Thank you for supporting YOUR

    National Wildlife Refuge! 


  • 13 May 2015 12:00 PM | Anonymous
    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service News

    Mountain Bogs National Wildlife Refuge Established in North Carolina


    The new Mountain Bogs National Wildlife Refuge in western North Carolina, formally established in April, is devoted to the conservation of southern Appalachian mountain bogs, one of the rarest and most imperiled habitats in the United States.


    Mountain Bogs Refuge is the nation’s 563rd national wildlife refuge. North Carolina is home to 11 refuges; Mountain Bogs Refuge is the first one west of Charlotte.


    “The establishment of Mountain Bogs National Wildlife Refuge marks a turning point in the efforts of a number of dedicated partners in preserving this unique and threatened habitat,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Jim Kurth. “It will provide a focal point for mountain bog conservation in the area, and highlights the importance of our National Wildlife Refuge System in preserving our nation’s spectacular biodiversity for future generations of Americans.”


    The Nature Conservancy donated an easement on a 39-acre parcel in Ashe County, which formally established the refuge.


    Less than 20 percent of the mountain bogs that once existed still remain. They are typically small and widely scattered across the landscape, often isolated from other wetlands. Important to wildlife and plants, mountain bogs are home to five endangered species – bog turtles, green pitcher plant, mountain sweet pitcher plant, swamp pink (a lily) and bunched arrowhead.


    Bogs also are habitat for migratory birds and game animals, including mink, woodcock, ruffed grouse, turkey and wood duck. They also provide key benefits by their natural capacity for regulating water flow, holding floodwaters like giant sponges and slowly releasing water to nearby streams, decreasing the impacts of floods and droughts.


    Bogs are breeding habitat for many species of amphibians, especially salamanders, of which the Southern Appalachians have the greatest diversity in the nation.


    The refuge may eventually grow to 23,000 acres, depending on the willingness of landowners to sell and the availability of funds to purchase lands. To guide acquisition of land and conservation easements and bog conservation in general, the Service has identified 30 sites -- or Conservation Partnership Areas -- containing bogs and surrounding lands.


    Funding to acquire land and easements would likely come from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, funded by fees collected from the sale of publicly-owned offshore oil and gas drilling leases.


    For more information about Mountain Bogs Refuge, visit www.fws.gov/mountainbogs.


    Photo caption:

    Bog turtles – the smallest North American turtle – is one of five endangered species that find a home on the newly-established Mountain Bogs National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina.


    For more stories like this, visit http://www.fws.gov/refuges/friends/newswire/


  • 28 Apr 2015 11:30 AM | Anonymous

    This article was originally written in the 2013 summer edition of FOAR's newsletter Gator Tales.


    Welcome a Special Visitor - Pingo Has Made It to the Refuge


    By Tim Cooper, Project Leader, Texas Chenier Plain NWR Complex


    During this season, Anahuac, McFaddin, Texas Point and Moody refuges host birds that are traveling over great distances and find shelter in our area. Even though Anahuac NWR is now celebrating its 50th year as a National Wildlife Refuge, we still have much to learn about its value to wildlife resources on a global scale. I am excited about the increasing information that is coming in regarding the Whimbrel roost on Anahuac NWR. Right now, the roost is becoming more active as birds come in daily from wintering in South America. Refuge Biologist Patrick Walther has been working with others to increase understanding of this annual concentration of remarkable birds.


    One of the things that makes a National Wildlife Refuge significant on a larger scale is well illustrated with this example. This Whimbrel roost, discovered by Refuge Biologist Matt Whitbeck and proven to be a globally important migration roost, is located deep in the heart of the refuge's East Unit. It is estimated that as many as 10% of North America's Whimbrel population uses Anahuac NWR as a safe haven and a critical "refueling" area for a much further migration push into the Arctic. These birds must arrive in the Arctic in adequate condition to quickly conduct an elaborate courtship display, nest, lay up to 4 eggs and rear young; and hopefully be back in shape to migrate south.


    Whimbrels are one of the world's great migrants that nest in the Arctic tundra then migrate down to South America for winter - often over water most of the way. Heading south, our visiting bird, named Pingo, left land at the Saint Lawrence River mouth in Quebec and crossed the open Atlantic Ocean headed south to Brazil. She spent the winter almost 6,000 miles from her summer grounds. What kind of athlete does it take to fly that great route burning body fat and eventually muscle tissue for days on end? Likely never seeing land and never being able to stop and catch her breath, Pingo made her way south on an all-or-nothing non-stop flight. Her southbound trans-Atlantic flight was around 3,500 miles and it looks like she added a slight detour! She averaged around 46 mph on the start of this trip, which would make the trans-Atlantic flight more than 76 hours of non-stop flying. Her navigation ability with no ground based landmarks alone is an incredible feat.


    The SeaTurtle.org website has tracked about 23 Whimbrels that were fitted with satellite transmitters in the fall. By spring, only four are still working and sending data. See a listing of these Whimbrels on their website. Click on the list under Pingo and see the brief story surrounding one of our international refuge visitors this season. Thankfully, she arrived on the refuge and is here as I write this. Let’s see how long she stays and maybe the bird named Mackenzie (on the same site) will pay us a visit as well.


    As spring migration comes into its own, take a moment and marvel at what is happening around us. The story of Pingo should remind us that we all play a support role in a much bigger picture, providing and maintaining a network of critical habitats for wildlife. She is one single bird, one of many thousands of her species, and Whimbrels are just one species which are protected and sheltered by National Wildlife Refuges. But with technology putting her tracking and life history story information in front of you, it is amazing!


    Thank You for all that you do on a daily basis to help keep these refuges such special places.


    Whimbrel at Anahuac NWR photo by Joe Blackburn



    Update April 2015:
    According to the SeaTurtle.org website, Pingo stopped transmitting a signal in May 2014. However, as of this post, three of the original 23 Whimbrels continue to transmit their location, including Postel, who has been transmitting for over three years during it's annual journeys between Hudson Bay in Canada and a mangrove forest on the Brazilian coast.



    Click here
    to read about the discovery of new staging areas by the Whimbrel tracking project at the Manomet Center for Conservation Science. Pingo and Anahuac NWR are mentioned.


  • 15 Apr 2015 5:00 PM | Anonymous


    Friends of Anahuac Refuge
    Mini Gator Tales
    April 2015


    Member Appreciation Event
    Saturday, April 18, 2pm-8pm


    A member appreciation event is scheduled for the afternoon and evening of Saturday, April 18 from 2pm-8pm. It will be held at the Oyster Bayou Hunting Club west of the refuge. This event is for EVERYONE who is a part of the Friends of Anahuac Refuge. If you are a volunteer, member, donor, USFWS personnel, or anything in between, we want to visit with YOU!  Light refreshments will be served, and we will be celebrating our accomplishments and giving away door prizes. You are welcome to stop by anytime this Saturday! We hope to see everybody there.

    Click here for more information

    Final Spring Rail Walk Scheduled for April 25

    Rail Walk at Anahuac NWR, Spring 2013

    This year's final spring rail walk at Anahuac NWR is scheduled for Saturday, April 25 at 7am. Participants could see or hear as many as SIX rails during a walk including King, Clapper, Virginia, Yellow, Sora, and the elusive Black Rail. Meet at theVIS at 7am the day of the walk for a briefing to arrange carpools to drive to the walk location on the refuge.

    Check out our Rail Walks page for more information.

    Spring Newsletter Now Available


    Our 2015 spring Gator Tales newsletter is now available. View it online here and check out previous issues here.

    Birding Workshop Highlights


    Check out video highlights of our latest birding workshop held at the refuge Visitor Center on April 4. FOAR board member David Sarkozi discussed migrating birds found at and near Anahuac NWR. Fellow board member Travis Lovelace discussed Audubon Texas' ongoing TERN Citizen Science project. You can be a part of the project by picking up a bird survey form at the VIS (or download here). Take the form to a spot on the refuge and count as many birds as you can for 20 minutes. Any data is helpful!
    You can email Travis Lovelace at atl3454@windstream.net for more information.
    Video courtesy of Chambers Wild

    Save the Date!

    Family Fishing Day at Anahuac NWR
    Saturday, June 6, 2015

    Click here for details

    National Wildlife Refuge System News


    Refuges, YouTube Help Researchers Discover Frog Species in New York City



    Atlantic Coast leopard frog in New York City; photo by Jeremy Feinberg
    Biologists have discovered a new frog species in New York City with the help of two National Wildlife Refuges and videos posted on YouTube.Read the story here

    Buy a Book About the Refuge...to Support the Refuge!
      The 50th anniversary books are for sale at the Visitor Center and Visitor Information Station as well as online on our book project page.  The book tells the story of the Anahuac NWR's 50th year through photographs and writing all done by volunteers. Profits from book sales go back to the Friends to pay for refuge projects.Check out an article from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service about the book here.


    Don't Forget to Renew Your Membership!

    Don't forget to renew your membership online via PayPal or by check in the mail.  When renewing, we also encourage you to receive our full quarterly newsletter Gator Tales, electronically.  It saves trees, saves us printing costs, and gets you access to more content.
    Send checks to:
    Friends of Anahuac RefugeP.O. Box 1348Anahuac, TX 77514 
    Clapper Rail at Anahuac NWRPhoto by Norman Welsh

    Thank you for supporting YOUR

    National Wildlife Refuge! 


  • 08 Apr 2015 9:00 AM | Anonymous
    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service News

    Conservation by Multiplication

    By: Dan Ashe, Director, US Fish & Wildlife Service


    In the 20th century, led by icons including John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, Aldo Leopold and Ding Darling, America created the National Park Service, the Forest Service, the National Wildlife Refuge System and other federal and state public land protections. As a result, nearly 30 percent of the nation’s land is protected, in some form, and stands as a foundation for the future.


    In the 21st century, we will strengthen that foundation. But if we want to meet this century’s conservation challenges, we must link the public estate to the more than 70 percent of the land that is privately owned. Many species entrusted to our care rely on private land to survive and thrive. If we’re going to conserve biological diversity, we must keep our public land foundations strong and build on them by engaging private landowners, most of whom are proud land stewards.


    That’s why we’ve focused on a vision for the Refuge System that sees refuges as hubs of networks of public and private lands. It’s why our field offices are engaging landowners across the country and developing voluntary conservation easements on hundreds of thousands of acres. These easements and other tools allow us to do conservation work through landowners, helping them achieve sustainable economic use of their lands while protecting and enhancing essential habitat for wildlife.


    By linking habitat on these private lands to our public estate, we are doing conservation by multiplication rather than simple addition. And to deal with 21st-century challenges like changing climate, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s next generation will need to graduate to algebra, trigonometry and calculus, creating more complex connections and giving wildlife the means to move across the landscape in step with the seasons, increasing human presence and shifting sources of food and shelter. That’s why we are building next-generation capacities like Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) and Refuge System Inventory and Monitoring.


    I recently read an article about Jude Smith, the manager of Buffalo Lake, Muleshoe and Grulla National Wildlife Refuges in Texas and New Mexico. He’s at least in Algebra II already.


    “Whatever we are doing on the refuge complex,” he says, “I’m considering how we can take the benefits and knowledge we have gained to surrounding landowners on the larger landscape. This complex is too small to make the big difference for wildlife that we are after.”


    Smith knows the formula for success. If you multiply your refuge lands by partnership with private landowners, the product is a landscape that makes the difference.


    This is happening as we work to conserve the greater sage-grouse. We have a strong public lands foundation, with 64 percent of the habitat under Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service management. We are strengthening that foundation but also working with and throughout the 11 range states to build strong state conservation programs and enlist private landowners in voluntary conservation. In the end, we are multiplying efforts and conserving a “sagebrush sea” that supports sage-grouse and hundreds of other species.


    In Harney County, OR, our folks have signed up nearly 300,000 acres of private ranch lands in conservation agreements. Rancher Tod Strong put it best when he said, “What’s good for the bird is good for the herd.” Amen, Tod.


    We can conserve the nature of America, if we think big, like Jude Smith, and reach out to good private land stewards like Tod Strong. Practice multiplication! Prepare for calculus! Think big!


    For more stories like this, visit: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/friends/newswire/index.html

  • 07 Apr 2015 6:00 PM | Anonymous
    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service News

    Refuges, YouTube Help Researchers Discover Frog Species


    With help from YouTube and two national wildlife refuges, researchers have discovered a new species of frog in New York City.


    The Atlantic Coast leopard frog’s existence was ratified in the October 2014 PLOS One article “Cryptic Diversity in Metropolis: Confirmation of a New Leopard Frog Species (Anura: Ranidae) from New York City and Surrounding Atlantic Coast Regions.” The discovery was a 10-year journey.


    In the mid-2000s, after three years as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service term biologist with Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Jeremy Feinberg decided to pursue a PhD from Rutgers University and focus on why southern leopard frogs had vanished from his native Long Island. For two years, Feinberg spent countless hours in southern New Jersey, where southern leopard frogs thrive. He knew their mating call by heart.


    One day he learned there might be a surviving leopard frog population on New York City’s Staten Island. Those frogs would be more genetically and geographically relevant, so one evening in 2008 he visited the Staten Island site.


    “Within five or 10 seconds of getting out of my car, I heard a vast chorus of leopard frogs from this big, wet meadow,” he says. “The problem was: The call I was hearing was not the southern leopard frog call. Nor was it a northern leopard frog call. It was a call that I had never heard in my life.”


    But, because he was a field herpetologist inexperienced in genetics and taxonomy, he feared no one would believe that he might have found something unusual. He needed help. A series of fortuitous events brought it to him.


    In 2009, Feinberg stumbled on a YouTube video that had been shot two years earlier at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, 25 miles west of Manhattan. He contacted the poster, Brian Zarate, an amphibian-reptile zoologist with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. “Pretty quickly, I said to Brian, I think it’s a new species,” Feinberg recalls.


    In 2010, Catherine Newman, then a University of Alabama graduate student, agreed to run the genetics. “She started to see things in the tissues and DNA sequences that made her interested,” says Feinberg. A year later, Newman told Feinberg that her molecular evidence strongly supported his hunch.


    In all, nine researchers contributed to the project. In 2012, Newman, Feinberg and others authored an initial article in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution suggesting a new species had been discovered. But it needed to be formally described. Describing the new species involved three lines of evidence.


    One line was molecular – showing it was a genetically distinct species. Many tissue samples for that work, which was largely covered in the 2012 paper, were gathered at Great Swamp Refuge. The second line of evidence was bio-acoustical – comparing mating calls of the new species to other known species. Feinberg used the call to identify the new frog at, among other places, Wallkill River Refuge on the New Jersey/New York border. “It was crystal clear that they were everywhere, a massive population,” he says. “I think, to date, Wallkill has the most impressive chorus I’ve ever heard.”


    The third line of evidence was morphology – physical characteristics and shape. The new species is a cryptic species (basically, a look-a-like). Still, there are differences. The Atlantic Coast leopard frog has a smaller, fainter white spot on its eardrum than the southern leopard frog does, and a wider body and stouter head, too.


    Feinberg credits refuge biologist Colin Osborn, Great Swamp Refuge deputy manager Steve Henry and Wallkill River Refuge manager Mike Horne with wonderful cooperation. For Feinberg, the discovery’s locale makes it extra-special: 


    “As a guy who grew up in New York reading about the new Florida this species or the California that species, I always said, ‘Boy, how come there’s nothing ever from New York?’ So to be able to find a frog not only in the U.S. but to formally describe it from New York, and not just from New York, but in the five boroughs of New York City, was a real treat.” 


    CAPTION: With the help of several collaborators and two national wildlife refuges, Jeremy Feinberg discovered this new frog species – the Atlantic Coast leopard frog – in New York City. (Jeremy Feinberg)


    For more stories like this, visit: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/friends/newswire/index.html

  • 07 Apr 2015 9:00 AM | Anonymous
    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service News

    Two Programs Epitomize the Concept of Working Beyond the Borders of National Wildlife Refuges


    Two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service programs -- the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and the Coastal Program -- exemplify the concept of working beyond the boundaries of national wildlife refuges, joining partners to conserve and restore ecosystems on a landscape scale. Working with more than 45,000 private landowners and 3,000 conservation partners since its founding 1987, the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program has restored more than a million acres of wetland habitat; 3 million acres of upland habitat and 11,000 miles of streams on private lands, a lot of it near and in conjunction with refuges. 


    “We have 225 Partners staff biologists in the field all over the country, and they’re in their trucks with shovels and leaning across fences with farmers and ranchers every day” helping to repair wetlands and streams, remove fish barriers, aid fish passage and even set up grazing systems, says John Schmerfeld, chief of the Refuge System Branch of Habitat Restoration. “It’s really an amazing program that has had incredible conservation success over the past 28 years.” 


    Coastal Program staff members in 24 priority coastal areas develop long-term partnerships on both private and public property to deliver landscape-scale conservation. Through the Coastal Program, the Service has restored approximately 517,670 acres of wetland and upland habitat, more than 2,220 miles of stream habitat, and helped permanently protect 2,079,655 acres since 1985. In 2014, the Service leveraged $22 for every $1 the Coastal Program project spent. 


    “The Refuge System is heavily invested in coastal areas,” says Schmerfeld. “They are superimportant both for the human element and for wildlife.” He cites two facts: More than 170 refuges are coastal; and while coastal counties make up only 10 percent of the lower 48 states’ land mass, they are home to more than half of the states’ population. 


    Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program 

    The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, established in 1987, is a diversified habitat restoration program that provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners and tribes who are willing to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners to help meet the habitat needs of federal trust fish, wildlife and plant species. Locally-based field biologists work one-on-one with private landowners to plan, implement and monitor projects. This level of personal attention and follow-through is a significant strength of the program. More about the program: www.fws.gov/partners/aboutus.html  


    Coastal Program

    The Coastal Program is one of the Service’s most effective tools for delivering fish and wildlife habitat restoration and protection on public and privately owned lands. Coastal Program staff members are located in 24 priority coastal areas, including the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes and Caribbean. These locally-based personnel know the community, its natural resources, environmental challenges, potential partners and political and economic issues. This knowledge enables the Service to develop long-term partnerships to deliver strategic habitat conservation. More about Coastal program: http://www.fws.gov/coastal/ 


    For more stories like this, visit: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/friends/newswire/index.html

  • 16 Mar 2015 12:00 PM | Anonymous
    Friends of Anahuac Refuge
    Mini Gator Tales
    March 2015


    Volunteer Workday

    Saturday, March 28, 9am-noon, meet near the VIS


    Volunteers planting trees along Willows Trail

    A volunteer workday is scheduled for Saturday, March 28. Volunteers will be helping doing some landscaping and "spring cleaning" around the Butterfly Garden and VIS. Lunch will be provided to all volunteers. Click here for more details and RSVP information. 


    Nature and Bird Walks in March at Anahuac NWR

    Fridays in March

    10am at Shoveler Pond on the Refuge

    2pm at the Lake Anahuac Boardwalk behind the Visitor Center


    Lake Anahuac boardwalk

    Visit the Refuge on Fridays in March for guided walks at Shoveler Pond and the Lake Anahuac Boardwalk. The Shoveler Pond walk/bird viewing will take place at the Shoveler Pond boardwalk at 10am. The walk along the Lake Anahuac Boardwalk will begin at 2pm from the Visitor Center.

    FOAR Member Appreciation Event

    Saturday, April 18, 2015, 2pm - 8pm


    FOAR will be hosting an appreciation/mixer event on Saturday, April 18, 2015 from 2pm-8pm. It is to show our gratitude for your support and a chance for you to meet other members, the FOAR board, and refuge staff. The event is BYOB, but refreshments will be provided. Visit the event page for more details. Make plans to attend!

    Click here for event details. 


    Spring Newsletter Coming Soon


    Watch for our full Gator Tales newsletter in your inbox or mailbox!

    Check out previous issues here. 


    Spring Rail Walks Scheduled in April


    King/Clapper Rail hybrid at Anahuac NWR, Norman Welsh

    Spring Rail walks at Anahuac NWR are scheduled in April. Participants could see or hear as many as SIX different species of rail during a walk including King, Clapper, Virginia, Yellow, Sora, and the elusive Black Rail. Meet at the VIS at 7am the day of the walk for a briefing to arrange carpools to drive to the walk location on the refuge.

    Check out our Rail Walks page for more details.

    Saturday, April 11 at 7am 

    Saturday, April 25 at 7am  


    National Wildlife Refuge System News

    Campaign to Save Beleaguered Monarch Butterfly


    Monarch butterflies at Anahuac NWR, Joe Blackburn

    The USFWS is addressing the drastically dwindling numbers of monarch butterflies. Their numbers have been cut by 90% in recent years due to loss of habitat across the country. Read how the issue is being addressed at refuges across the country, including Anahuac NWR. Click here for the article.

    Buy a book about the refuge...to support the refuge!


    The 50th anniversary books are for sale at the Visitor Center and the Visitor Information Station as well as online. The book tells the story of the Anahuac NWR's 50th year through photographs and essays from volunteers. Visit the book project page.

    Don't forget to renew your membership!

    Renew online via PayPal or by check in the mail. When renewing, we also encourage you to receive our full quarterly Gator Tales newsletter electronically. It saves trees, saves us printing costs, and gets you access to more content. Click here to join or renew.



The Friends of Anahuac Refuge was established in 1997 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Anahuac, TX.

For questions, call the refuge office at 409-267-3337.

Email: FriendsofAnahuacRefuge@gmail.com


Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 1348

Anahuac, TX 77514

Refuge Office Address:

4017 FM 563, Anahuac, TX 77514

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