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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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936 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 rivers and the ocean. Please visit...

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 courtesy of Our Homeschool...

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 launch was a Luhr Beach / Nisqually...

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

2014,06,27 Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge~Parkland

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

GPS Trail Map: http://www.movescount.com/moves/move51876514 Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge http://www.movescount.com/moves/move51876514 Almost as convenient as a rest stop right off...

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Mallards

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Mallards and Heron.

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 guide as the group determined...

936 videos foundNext > 

225 news items

Bellingham Herald
Thu, 09 Apr 2015 00:05:35 -0700

Visitors to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge can learn about its history, the plants and animals during a series of guided weekend walks. The series, which will run through the end of June, uses experts who lead walks through the refuge to point out ...
Access Washington
Tue, 21 Apr 2015 12:41:15 -0700

The plan considers several sensitive and cultural resources, such as the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, which is located at the mouth of the river and serves as a preserve for hundreds of species of birds and other animals. The Nisqually River ...


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 ...

The Seattle Times

The Seattle Times
Thu, 09 Apr 2015 11:56:15 -0700

The delta is in the heart of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, which protects the largest estuary restoration project ever undertaken in the Northwest. (Art Wolfe/(c) Art Wolfe). An American Dipper in Maple Ridge, B.C., gets set to take off from ...


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 ...


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 11:03:37 -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 ...


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 ...

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