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gibsons-patuxent-wildlife-blogThe Patuxent Wildlife Festival will celebrate 80 years of groundbreaking research on October 15, 2016. The day’s activities will feature live animal displays, children’s crafts, tram tours, and research exhibits. Attendees can take behind-the-scenes tours of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and observe endangered whooping cranes.

History

By executive order, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Patuxent Research Refuge in 1936. It is the United States’ only national wildlife refuge supporting wildlife research. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducts most of the studies through the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Since being founded, the refuge’s mission of conserving and protecting wildlife and habitat via research and management techniques has remained essentially unchanged.

Refuge Area

Comprising of lands around the Patuxent and Little Patuxent Rivers between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, the refuge has expanded from 2,670 acres to 12,841 acres. The land was once managed by the Departments of Agriculture and Defense, and there are three main areas, according to Patuxent: “1) North Tract, which offers hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, trails, and many interpretive programs; 2) Central Tract, where the offices and study sites of the many research biologists are located at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; and 3) South Tract, where the National Wildlife Visitor Center and its trails are located. The National Wildlife Visitor Center and North Tract are the only areas open for visitor activities.”

Diversity

A grand diversity of migratory and native species in wetland, meadow, and forest habitats are supported by the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge. During the migrations of autumn and spring, numerous species of waterfowl visit the refuge to rest and feed, and an estimated 270 bird species have been recorded. Due to forest fragmentation from development, populations of neotropical migratory birds have decreased. As one of the mid-Atlantic’s largest forest areas, Patuxent provides an important habitat for breeding and nesting for these affected species.

Festival Details

The Patuxent Wildlife Festival will be held on Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the National Wildlife Visitor Center of the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge. All ages are welcome, and there is free admission. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Please be advised the tours are limited, and tickets are available on a first come first served basis on the day of the event.

A B&B Near Patuxent Wildlife Festival

The National Wildlife Visitor Center is only about a 35-minute drive away from Gibson’s Lodgings, a historic inn located in downtown Annapolis. Call us to reserve your bed & breakfast room at our toll free number 877-330-0057. We’ll be very happy to serve you and your family throughout the year.

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