Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
|Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge|
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
|Location||Cameron / Willacy counties, Texas, United States|
|Nearest city||Harlingen, Texas|
|Area||98,000 acres (400 km2)|
|Established||29 March 1946|
|Visitors||+200,000 (in 2003)|
|Governing body||United States Fish and Wildlife Service|
|Website||Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge|
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge is the largest protected area of natural habitat left in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The 98,000-acre (400 km2) refuge is located almost entirely in Cameron County, Texas (near Harlingen), although a very small part of its northernmost point extends into southern Willacy County.
The Peregrine Fund began reintroducing captive-bred northern aplomado falcons (Falco femoralis septentrionalis) to the refuge in 1985, which had been nearly extirpated from the Southwestern United States; today, it is home to 26 pairs. Nine other endangered or threatened species inhabit the refuge, such as the Texas ocelot (Leopardus pardalis albescens) and Gulf Coast jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi cacomitli), rare wild cats. Programs at the refuge include vegetation and wetland restoration.
- Hilary Swarts, ocelot biologist at Laguna Atascosa
- "Texas GEMS - Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (LANWR)". Texas Gulf Ecological Management Sites. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 2003-05-07. Retrieved 2009-12-29.
- "Endangered Species". Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 2009-12-29.
- "Management". Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 2009-12-29.
Media related to Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge at Wikimedia Commons