McFaddin and Texas Point National Wildlife Refuges

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McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge
Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge

The McFaddin and Texas Point National Wildlife Refuges are located in proximity in southern Jefferson County on the upper Texas coast at Sabine Pass. The refuges have a combined 105.96 square miles (274.4 km2) of fish and wildlife habitat. McFaddin, much the larger one, located at around 29°40′00″N 94°09′00″W / 29.66667°N 94.15000°W / 29.66667; -94.15000, has a total area of 58,861.43 acres (238.20 km²), while the smaller Texas Point, located at around 29°42′00″N 93°53′00″W / 29.70000°N 93.88333°W / 29.70000; -93.88333, has 8,952.02 acres (36.23 km²).[1]

Texas Point and McFaddin refuges supply important feeding and resting habitat for migrating and wintering populations of waterfowl using the Central Flyway. Feeding flocks of Snow Geese have exceeded 70,000 birds at McFaddin.

Dozens of migratory bird species use habitat on both refuges to feed, rest, nest and raise their young. McFaddin contains one of the densest populations of American Alligators in Texas. Alligators are most easily seen during the spring, but are often visible throughout the summer and fall.

Mammal species native to Texas include the Muskrat, North American River Otter, American Mink, Raccoon, Striped Skunk, Virginia Opossum, Nine-banded Armadillo, Gray fox and Bobcat.

Large portions of both refuges are tidally influenced, creating estuarine environments important to a variety of fish, shrimp and crabs, as well as other life forms higher on the foot chain that feed on such organisms. These estuaries are very productive communities and are vital to the life cycle of many marine species. Some of the more commonly sought after fish found in refuge waters include Red drum, flounder, Alligator gar and Blue catfish.

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