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Colorado National Wildlife Refuges



Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge- The refuge is located primarily within the Rio Grande Flood Plain. Its major focus is wetland and water management to provide food, cover and habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.
Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge- Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge was established for the breeding and habitat of migratory birds.
Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge- Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge lies in a remote mountain park formed by the Green River in northwestern Colorado. The refuge is surrounded by great escarpments of rock and a forest of pinion and juniper.
Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge- The artificially created wetlands of Monte Vista NWR are intensively managed to provide additional habitat for a wide variety of waterfowl and other waterbirds. Mallards, pintail, teal and Canada geese are common, as are avocets, killdeer, ibis, egrets, and herons.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge- The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is composed of open grassland and riparian habitats. The entire site is currently a Superfund site controlled by the U.S. Army.
Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge- The Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge is located in the city limits of Arvada, Colorado. Approximately 95 species of birds utilize the refuge and ten species nest at the refuge.

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General Information

Description - Colorado's Wildlife Refuges provide excellent habitat for waterfowl, other bird life and an abundance of wildlife. The refuges offer opportunities for bird-watching, viewing wildlife, and hiking.

Attractions - Alamosa, Arapahoe, Monte Vista and Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuges all encompass wetlands and riparian areas, providing excellent habitat for waterfowl, other bird life and an abundance of wildlife. Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Area, surrounded by the Denver suburbs, is one of the largest urban wildlife areas in the United States. Brown's Park provides a unique combination of: wildlife, solitude, scenery, and western history that is unmatched in the Refuge System.

Recreation - The refuges offer opportunities for bird-watching, viewing wildlife, and hiking. Some of the refuges offer fishing and hunting opportunities as well.

Climate - The climate in Colorado varies tremendously from hot dusty summer days to frigidly cold winter nights. Colorado is known for its thunderstorms which form over the Rocky Mountains and then head across the eastern plains, often reaching 10,000 feet or more in height. Lightening is a serious threat, particularly on mountain peaks, lakes and open fields. Summertime temperatures routinely reach 90 to 100 degrees on the plains and the 70 - 80 degrees in the mountains. Cool weather is always possible at night throughout Colorado, particularly at higher elevations. It is not uncommon to need both shorts and a jacket on the same day.

The winter routinely brings severe winter driving conditions with icy roads and limited visibility. Temperatures range from the 40s and 50s on the plains to well below zero in the mountains. Proper winter clothing and food is necessary to avoid hypothermia and one should be prepared to spend an unexpected night out if traveling in the backcountry or on the highways.

Location - The National Wildlife Refuges in Colorado are located primarily along the Front Range and in the San Luis Valley, with Browns Park Refuge in northwest Colorado.


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Colorado - Colorado's varied geography ranges from plains to mountains to deserts and offers incredible winter and summer recreation activities.

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