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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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1578 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...

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 River originates at Mt Rainier's Nisqually glacier, eventually joining with estuary, forest, wetland, and salt water. Over 200 species of birds vis...

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge: Farmland Returned to Natural Estuary.

What was once workable farmland in the south Puget Sound is now being restored to its natural state. The Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge returns to its or...

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.

Stand Up Paddle the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

One of the most beautiful places to stand up paddle in Washington State-The Nisqually River Delta. Incredible to see crabs, jellyfish, and other saltwater li...


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

Juvenile Redtail Hawk in Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Started filming only after this individual Redtail started feeding after a successful catch. The hawk was perched in a tree about 50 feet away from us. It wa...

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Cackling Canada Geese

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Cackling Canada Geese.

1578 videos foundNext > 

4 news items

Tue, 19 Aug 2014 00:07:30 -0700

The three projects and several smaller ones involve about 1,200 acres. That far surpasses the 750-acre Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge east of Olympia, currently the largest fish-habitat project on Puget Sound.
Nisqually Valley News
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 18:07:00 -0700

The Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1974, offers 762 acres of splendor just west of Yelm. This biologically rich delta at the southern end of Puget Sound is where the Nisqually River meets saltwater. Critters of all kinds are abundant.
The Suburban Times
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:30:00 -0700

The July 24, 2014 program “Nisqually Wildlife Refuge: Past – Present – Future” was presented by Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Manager Glynnis Nakai with Gil as MC. Glynnis brought us up to date on the ongoing restoration project to improve ...


Fri, 15 Aug 2014 06:07:30 -0700

The settings are just as varied as the style – ranging from the urban alleys of downtown Seattle and Olympia, to the pastoral fields of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge; she has even shot the exotic but beautiful Badlands desert of New Mexico. In ...

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