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Aransas Wildlife Refuge

Aransas Wildlife Refuge - Port Aransas, Texas

The Aransas Wildlife Refuge is one of five hundred and more national wildlife refuges that spans the United States and is maintained through the US Fish and Wildlife service. They are a national system of lands which are dedicated to conserve our wildlife heritage not only today, but for many generations in the future.

Aransas Wildlife Refuge was established way back in 1937 by Franklin D. Roosevelt who proclaimed it as being a refuge for migratory birds and other natural wildlife. The complex has well over fifty thousand total acres which encompasses the Blackjack Peninsula. It provides essential nesting, feeding, wintering and resting grounds for migratory birds along with other native Texas wildlife.

It is well-known all over the world as a host for the largest flock of endangered whooping cranes every winter. Among the other native species which can be found includes the American alligator, armadillo, spoonbill, javelina, white tailed deer and many spectacular wildflowers. It stands to reason why this area is enjoyed by tens of thousands of visitors each year who come to interact with its breathtaking beauty and abundant wildlife.

In addition to the above named species, guests at the Aransas Wildlife Refuge will also be treated to a variety of geese and ducks who reside along the many salt marshes which are teeming with clams, blue crabs and other fish, and it's not unusual to see alligators peering from the still waters of ponds or sloughs. Live oaks, grasslands and thickets are covering the deep sandy soils adding to the incredible beauty of this unspoiled refuge. The storms and water from the Gulf of Mexico are constantly reshaping the area as well.

Visitors can arrange driving tours, and this will provide unparalleled wildlife viewing opportunities. However, for the more adventurous there are additional activities which include fishing, hiking, bird watching or if preferred, a leisurely picnic. You'll also find several excellent hiking trails, however it's highly advised to bring along insect repellent to guard against the abundant mosquitoes.

Aransas has long been recognized as the prime bird locale in the state of Texas. In fact almost four hundred species have been identified in the area, with the main attraction being among the rarest species in North America, the endangered whooping crane.

Typically, the best time to visit the Aransas Wildlife Refuge will be from the early part of November up to April. Most people find that the best views are from boats along the coastal canals as they cruise past the many salt marshes and tidal flats. Here many species can be seen easily.

Strong winds move the bay waters over tidal marshes lying among the short vegetation, and it's this habitat which attracts the many thousands of different migratory birds. It should be noted that the grassland meadows are protected from being invaded by scrub species, and this is done through controlled burning. Fire is frequently used to manage invasive species and for rejuvenating grasslands, this benefits the native species of the areas wildlife.

There is no doubt that a visit to the scenic Aransas Wildlife Refuge is a nature lovers paradise. This area will be here for future generations to enjoy as well, and is definitely a must visit for anyone who has an appreciation for nature and what it offers.


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