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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 / Pierce counties, Washington, USA
Nearest city Lacey, WA
Coordinates 47°04′22″N 122°42′46″W / 47.07278°N 122.71278°W / 47.07278; -122.71278Coordinates: 47°04′22″N 122°42′46″W / 47.07278°N 122.71278°W / 47.07278; -122.71278
Area 3,914 acres (1,584 ha)
Established 1974
Visitors 137,000 (in 2004)
Governing body United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Ring-necked duck near the visitors center
American bittern, Nisqually NWR

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) planned 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.[1]

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. Water mammals range in size from small porpoises to whales.[2]

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]


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nisqually_National_Wildlife_Refuge — Please support Wikipedia.
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1036 videos foundNext > 

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...

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 la...

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Mallards

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Mallards and Heron.

2014,06,27 Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge~Parkland

2014,06,26 Tumwater to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

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 a...

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge


Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge - heron


Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge - shorebirds


1036 videos foundNext > 

238 news items


Sun, 08 Jun 2014 05:56:15 -0700

His certificate of training is prominently displayed in our home while his badge will certainly remain a treasured item. Clean air, clean dirt, and a whole lot of interesting things I know he'll remember, Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge has been a ...

The Olympian

The Olympian
Thu, 05 Jun 2014 11:00:00 -0700

Former 18-term congressman Norm Dicks is being honored Friday at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge with a ceremony to name of the visitor center after him. Department Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is scheduled to attend the 11 a.m. event that ...

The Olympian

The Olympian
Tue, 24 Dec 2013 14:48:09 -0800

A spotted towhee looks back as guided bird walk passes along the boardwalk Dec 24th at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.Offered usually each Wednesday during the year the next walk will be Tuesday Dec 31st due to the New Years Day holiday and ...


Fri, 11 Oct 2013 05:34:50 -0700

nisqually national wildlife refuge I am a mother of two very loud boys, who are often told to use their “inside voices” and “keep it down.” We are not a birder's best friend. That being said, a trip to the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge for the Junior ...
Bellingham Herald
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 23:52:30 -0800

Join noted local birder Phil Kelley on this weekly walk through the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. The walk covers about 4 miles. Bring good walking shoes, rain gear, water, snacks and a spotting scope if you have one. 8 a.m.-noon Wednesday; meet ...


Sun, 11 Aug 2013 07:42:09 -0700

Since he was a kid, Joe Brignone has had this infatuation with capturing birds in flight on film. You'll sometimes see him at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge filming, catching a blue heron gulping down a frog or a red-tailed hawk swooping across ...
Thu, 17 Jan 2013 05:35:35 -0800

It's cold outside. And, many days it's also pretty wet. But we are Pacific Northwesterners and despite the weather, there are still many wearing shorts with your down coat. Don't let the winter months be a time of hibernation for your family. Get out ...
Nisqually Valley News
Fri, 21 Jun 2013 17:49:57 -0700

Location — All lectures will be held in the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. Time — The lectures start 7 p.m. and will last about one hour followed by questions. Doors open at 6 p.m.. Limited Seating — The Visitor Center auditorium ...

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