More than a century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt set aside a tiny bird rookery off the coast of Florida, Pelican Island, as the first national wildlife refuge. Since then the Refuge System has grown to become one of our greatest treasures with refuges from the Caribbean to the Pacific, from Maine to Alaska. This week (Oct. 14-20) we celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week with special events for the public to enjoy at our 560 national wildlife refuges from coast to coast. Our refuges include examples of every type of ecosystem in North America including boreal forests, wetlands; deserts, grasslands; arctic tundra and remote islands. They provide habitat for 700 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 250 species of reptiles and amphibians, and more than 1,000 species of fish and countless invertebrates and plants. Burrowing owls at the Rocky Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado. (by Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge) read more

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Celebrating National Wildlife Refuge Week