San Luis National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
North levee, San Luis Refuge - March, 2007
Map showing the location of San Luis National Wildlife Refuge
Map showing the location of San Luis National Wildlife Refuge
Map of the United States
LocationMerced County, California, United States
Nearest cityLos Banos, California
Coordinates37°12′00″N 120°48′04″W / 37.19994°N 120.80103°W / 37.19994; -120.80103[1]
Area26,600 acres (108 km2)
Governing bodyU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
WebsiteSan Luis National Wildlife Refuge

The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge in the San Joaquin Valley of central California is one of the great remnants of a historically bountiful wintering grounds for migratory waterfowl on the Pacific Flyway. Located in the Bear Creek, Salt Slough, and San Joaquin River floodplain, it hosts a myriad of tree-lined channels and oxbows, wetlands and native grasslands.

Thousands of acres of wetlands, fed by an intricate set of canals, are managed to produce natural food supplies for migratory waterfowl. San Luis also contains the most extensive network of pristine native grasslands, shrubs, and vernal pools that still remain within the Central Valley.

Thousands upon thousands of mallard, pintail, green-winged teal, and ring-necked ducks flock into the managed wetlands; while the wood duck lives throughout the tree-lined slough channels.

Herons and egrets nest in mature oaks and willows and feed on the refuge's abundant frog and crayfish populations. A wide diversity of songbirds, hawks, and owls also use refuge habitat.

Hunting is allowed in the winter season on a portion of the refuge, which also holds a herd of reintroduced endangered tule elk, the smallest subspecies of all American elks.


See also


  1. ^ "San Luis National Wildlife Refuge". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.