Valentine National Wildlife Refuge

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Valentine National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Map showing the location of Valentine National Wildlife Refuge
Map showing the location of Valentine National Wildlife Refuge
Location Cherry County, Nebraska, USA
Nearest city Valentine, NE
Coordinates 42°29′37″N 100°34′22″W / 42.49361°N 100.57278°W / 42.49361; -100.57278Coordinates: 42°29′37″N 100°34′22″W / 42.49361°N 100.57278°W / 42.49361; -100.57278
Area 71,516 acres (289 km2)
Established 1935
Governing body U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Designated: 1976

Valentine National Wildlife Refuge is located in the U.S. state of Nebraska and includes 19,131 acres (77.42 km2). The refuge protects a portion of the largest remaining area of tall and mid grass prairie remaining in the U.S. Collectively known as the sand hills region of Nebraska, the dunes were the end result of the last ice age known as the Pinedale glaciation. During the Holocene glacial retreat the sand dunes that been deposited in their current location by the vast continental glaciers, were exposed and grasses eventually took over. The refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and along with Fort Niobrara and John and Louise Seier National Wildlife Refuges, they form the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Numerous lakes and ponds are located on the refuge, fed by underground seeps and springs. 260 species of birds have been identified over the years on the refuge, and during migratory periods in the spring and fall, 150,000 birds pass through the protected area. White-tailed and Mule deer are commonly found and muskrat and beaver inhabit the wetlands and streams.

Valentine NWR is located about 20 miles (32 km) south of Valentine, Nebraska off U.S. Highway 83.

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