HARLINGEN, Texas — There is a place like no other…where a phantom wildcat stealthily stalks cloaking chaparral, tropical birds dart from dense thickets and wintering waterfowl greet the crimson dawn.
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge is the largest protected area of natural habitat open to the public in deep South Texas.
The refuge is home to an incredible biodiversity with more than 450 plant varieties, 410 species of birds documented, 128 types of butterflies, 45 mammal species, 44 reptile and amphibian varieties and approximately 40 fish species.
Located at the tip of southernmost Texas, the refuge currently encompasses approximately 100,000 acres. The main refuge east of Rio Hondo is 45,000 acres; while lands north of the town of South Padre Island cover 25,000 acres, and the Bahia
Grande tract north of the Port of Brownsville consists of 22,000 acres. Additional lands have also been acquired to create a coastal corridor linking the main refuge with Bahia Grande.
Laguna Atascosa is one of 562 national wildlife refuges and certainly one of the most unique. Boasting 410 species of birds and counting, Laguna Atascosa has more varieties of birds than any refuge in the country. If you want to see a rare Aplomado falcon or tropical Green jay then Laguna is the place to go.
Now, is a wonderful time to visit your refuge, as wintering waterfowl have arrived, and you can thrill to the primordial calls of geese and Sandhill cranes…and who knows, you might even glimpse an endangered ocelot.
On Saturday, December 5th at 6 p.m. the Friends of Laguna Atascosa will debut the documentary, “Laguna Atascosa A South Texas Treasure.”
If you are interested in seeing the documentary, join me on the Friends of Laguna Atascosa Facebook page for a live Q&A preceding the showing of the documentary.