kern national wildlife refuge

Kern National Wildlife Refuge: All Stats and Facts !!

The Kern National Wildlife Refuge is located in California, United States. The Refuge was established on December 18, 1990, and has an area of about 919 acres. This Refuge is home to many species, including the tule elk, pronghorn antelope, coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, and great horned owl.

History of Kern National Wildlife Refuge

History of Kern National Wildlife Refuge

The Kern National Wildlife Refuge was created as part of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act passed by Congress in 1992 due to concerns that agricultural practices in this region were adversely impacting waterfowl populations.

The first land acquisition for the new Refuge occurred on February 4, 1993, when a parcel containing 1 acre near Tehachapi was purchased from Lloyd R. Smith for $1250. In 1994 additional properties were purchased using $75,000 from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. Finally, on September 21, 1994, 1,826 acres of land were purchased with funding provided by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.

The Kern National Wildlife Refuge is located in parts of Tehachapi and Arvin within Kern County. The elevation of this reserve varies from about 2,300 feet to about 4500 feet above sea level, depending on where you are on site.

The landscape consists mostly of grassland as well as some agricultural land that has been set aside for wildlife or wetlands that have been created through water diversions such as ditches and canals.

Two major rivers are providing year-round surface water, which greatly benefits the local wildlife and the agricultural industry that relies on water from this area.

Wildlife in Kern National Refuge

The Kern National Wildlife Refuge provides a home to three species of native fish and is a habitat for more than 160 bird species, including sandhill cranes, northern harriers, western snowy plovers, and swans.

The Tule Elk herd found on site was introduced in 1993 with 30 animals and now number around 150 with several hundred pronghorn antelope also calling this area home.

Other mammals such as coyotes can be found here, along with reptiles such as leopard lizards and rattlesnakes, just to name a few.

Opportunistic California quail are often seen all over the place here, too but will quickly disappear if you get too close, which indicates how skittish they can be.

Volunteering in Kern National Wildlife Refuge

The Kern National Wildlife Refuge has a very active volunteer program that assists with habitat restoration projects, wildlife surveys, and various other activities throughout the year.

A visitor center is located here, where you will find maps, informational brochures, and exhibits to help guide you along your way during stops at this reserve. Trails are also available for access to various areas throughout the Refuge, such as wetlands, grasslands, and riparian corridors, depending on what season it is.

There are no fees associated with visiting this area. Still, you must stay on designated trails when hiking or biking if needed to avoid damage to local ecosystems when exploring this place.

Things to do in Kern National wildlife Refuge

1. Hiking

Several trails are available in the Kern National Wildlife Refuge, with most being limited to hikers and bicyclists. These trails vary from wetlands, grasslands, or riparian corridors, depending on the time of year. It’s always best to stay on the designated trails when exploring this area, so you do not risk harming any of the local wildlife or ecosystems.

The Refuge also offers volunteer opportunities for those who want to help with restoration work, wildlife surveys, and more. If you plan on visiting, there is an information center with maps, brochures, and exhibits that can offer some guidance.

One of the most popular activities at this site is hiking, but you’ll need to be prepared with plenty of water and snacks since there aren’t any places to purchase food once you’re there. Sunscreen and hats are also recommended as the sun can be quite strong at these elevations.

2. Photography

The Kern National Wildlife Refuge is a great place for photography with plenty of different landscapes to capture, including grasslands, agricultural land, wetlands, and riparian corridors. In addition, you’ll likely see various wildlife here, such as birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, making for some interesting shots.

There are no fees associated with photography within the Refuge. Still, please remember to stay on designated trails when taking pictures to avoid harming any local wildlife or ecosystems.

3. Bird watching

The Kern National Wildlife Refuge is a great place for bird watching, with over 160 birds known to inhabit the area. Some of the more popular birds to see here include sandhill cranes, northern harriers, western snowy plovers, and swans.

The Refuge also has a Tule Elk herd introduced in 1993 and has since grown to over 150 animals. There are also several other mammals such as coyotes and reptiles such as leopard lizards and rattlesnakes, which can be found here.

There is no fee for bird watching within the Refuge, but please remember to stay on designated trails when viewing wildlife to avoid harming any of them.

4. Hunting

Hunting is allowed at the Kern National Wildlife Refuge with some restrictions. You must have a valid hunting license and a refuge hunting permit obtained at the information center. All deer, elk, and coyote hunting are by rifle only, and there are restrictions on the use of lead bullets. Small game such as rabbits, squirrels, and quail can be hunted with shotguns using sizes no larger than number six.

Please remember to always follow all hunting regulations when visiting the Refuge to avoid fines or penalties.

5. Fishing

Fishing is allowed at the Kern National Wildlife Refuge with a valid California fishing license. The most common fish caught here includes largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, and crappie, several other species, such as Sacramento perch, redear sunfish, and tui chub.

Please remember to follow all fishing regulations when visiting the Refuge to avoid fines or penalties.

Conclusion

The Kern National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to visit for various outdoor activities. There are plenty of trails for hiking, biking, and photography with diverse landscapes and plenty of wildlife to see. The Refuge also offers hunting and fishing opportunities with some restrictions. So whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or just want to relax and take in the scenery, Kern National Wildlife Refuge is worth a visit.

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