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The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is "to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans."
Aransas NWR was originally established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937 as a "refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife...", "...for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds..." and to conserve (A) fish or wildlife which are listed as endangered species or threatened species...or (B) plants".
The Refuge Complex is comprised of over 115,000 acres including the Blackjack Peninsula (Aransas proper), Matagorda Island, Myrtle Foester Whitmire, Tatton, and Lamar units. These areas provide vital resting, feeding, wintering, and nesting grounds for migratory birds and native Texas wildlife.
The Refuge is world renowned for hosting the largest wild flock of endangered whooping cranes each winter. Other native species you can see on the Refuge include the American alligator, javelina, roseate spoonbill, white-tailed deer, armadillo, and spectacular wildflowers.
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