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Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Nisqually NWR 28077.JPG
Map showing the location of Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
Map showing the location of Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
Location in Washington state
Location Thurston and Pierce counties, Washington, USA
Nearest city Lacey, WA
Coordinates 47°04′57″N 122°43′18″W / 47.08250°N 122.72167°W / 47.08250; -122.72167Coordinates: 47°04′57″N 122°43′18″W / 47.08250°N 122.72167°W / 47.08250; -122.72167[1]
Area 4,529.21 acres (1,833 ha)[2]
Established 1974 (1974)[3]
Visitors 137,000 (in 2004)
Governing body United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

The Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife preserve operated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service on the Nisqually River Delta near Puget Sound in northeastern Thurston County, Washington and northwestern Pierce County, Washington. The refuge is located just off Interstate 5, between the cities of Tacoma and Olympia.

The 12.6 km2 refuge was created in 1974 to provide habitat and nesting areas for waterfowl and other migratory birds. It includes a protected estuary, salt marshes and open mudflats, freshwater marshes, open grassland, and riparian woodland and brush. An additional 3.2 square kilometres (1.2 sq mi) is protected by the disjoint Black River Unit on a tributary of the Chehalis River.


The wildlife refuge is home to the Nisqually River Delta, which has the unique status as Washington’s largest relatively undisturbed estuary. The confluence of the freshwater Nisqually River and the saltwater south Puget Sound has created a variety of unique environments, each rich in nutrients and natural resources for the local wildlife. The delta provides habitats for more than 300 different species of fish and wildlife.[4]

In 1904 the Brown Farm Dike, five miles long, was created to protect farmland from tidal surge, resulting in a loss of important habitat for young fish, birds and marine mammals such as harbor seals. As part of a long running project to restore the estuary, in 2009 a new 10,000 foot dike was installed behind the old dike and four miles of the old Brown Farm Dike were removed. This enabled the tidal flows to reclaim 762 acres to the estuary.

Sea life features 24 species of fish located in one of three habitats: riverine, estuarine or the Nisqually Reach nearshore. Large populations of fall Chinook salmon, starry flounder and shiner perch offer a sampling of the fish that are abundantly available.[5] The saltmarshes and mudflats are located outside of the dikes. Rich in nutrients, they are the home to clams, crabs, shrimp and worms, which in turn feed ducks, gulls and herons.

Over 20,000 birds, made up of 275 different migrating species, use the freshwater marshes and grasslands for breeding, resting or wintering. The most abundant bird types include raptors, shorebirds and songbirds. Larger animals such as hawks and coyotes feast in the grassland due to the presence of mice and voles.

The riparian woodland and brush habitats contain many amphibians, mammals and reptiles.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ "Annual Report of Lands as of September 30, 2013" (PDF). United States Fish and Wildlife Service. 
  3. ^ "About the Refuge". Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 
  4. ^ "Habitat". Nisqually National Reserve. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved February 25, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Fish". Nisqually National Reserve. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved February 25, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nisqually_National_Wildlife_Refuge — Please support Wikipedia.
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556 videos foundNext > 

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge on Comcast’s “Neighborhoods” show

Join Sabrina Register for a scenic walk through the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge in Washington State offers vital wetlands and estuary habitat for migrating birds and also for salmon as they move between ...

Virtual Field Trip - Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge - www.ourhomeschoolideas.com

A home school virtual tour of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge in Washington state. Includes short clips of different scenes of the refuge. Filmed by and ...

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Kayaked around the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge and took photos and video. I saw seals, hawks, eagles, deer, crabs and even other kayakers. The boat ...

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge


With Leilane Rita M. Conopio and Liza Garcia. Olympia, Washington MAY 19, 2012.

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge - shorebirds


Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

GPS Trail Map: http://www.movescount.com/moves/move51876514 Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge http://www.movescount.com/moves/move51876514 ...

Birding at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, February 6th, 2015. It's rainy as hell, but the jar of tea in my and and shell of Gore-tex keep me comfy. We headed out with the male ...

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Brown Farm Dike Trail at the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge is being removed to restore the natural salt marsh estuary. The farewell walk on the trail is April 18th.

556 videos foundNext > 

221 news items


Thu, 16 Jul 2015 06:07:30 -0700

indian summer logo The National Wildlife Refuge System is 112 years old, with protected lands stretching from shore to shore of the country. For those of us in Thurston County, we are lucky enough to have one of the more scenic refuges right in our ...

The Olympian

The Olympian
Sun, 26 Jul 2015 07:37:30 -0700

The Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is a great destination when you want to get outdoors and only have a few hours to spend. There are several miles of trails for hiking, a multitude of places to watch resident and migrant birds and spots to look ...

Indian Country Today Media Network

Indian Country Today Media Network
Wed, 20 May 2015 07:26:15 -0700

The Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1974 to protect the Nisqually River Delta, a biologically rich and diverse area at the southern end of Puget Sound. In addition to renaming the wildlife refuge, the bill would make the location ...


Thu, 06 Aug 2015 17:04:41 -0700

The Nisqually Reservation likely would be most affected by the noise, which also could impact wildlife in the nearby Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Besides the cost-savings of training locally – each convoy to the Yakima range racks up $227,000 in ...


Tue, 10 Feb 2015 16:00:00 -0800

KING 5 reporter Dan Cassuto was out at Nisqually National Wildlife Refugeon Monday and took some gorgeous shots of baby Great Horned Owls. Cassuto says the nest is about a half-mile from the parking lot along the loop trail. According to the Nisqually ...


Thu, 15 Jan 2015 06:37:30 -0800

Just shy of the Thurston County line, the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is a world of trees, damselflies, and bird song. Seeking some fresh air and education, my son and I took a day to wander the trails at this lovely place. Like most four-year ...


Wed, 08 Jul 2015 17:19:45 -0700

Denny Heck, D-Olympia, has introduced the Billy Frank Jr. Tell Your Story Act in Congress to designate the Nisqually River Delta refuge as the Billy Frank J. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. The legislation to rename the wildlife refuge in honor of ...

AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

AmmoLand Shooting Sports News
Thu, 07 May 2015 14:32:49 -0700

Washington, DC -(Ammoland.com)- How to make the most of your national park visit this summer? Pair it with a side trip to a nearby national wildlife refuge. Adding a refuge stop to a park trip will enrich your understanding of public lands and their ...

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