The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge was established to protect wildlife species that were in grave danger of extinction, and to restore species that had been eliminated from the area. Bison were reintroduced, along with elk and wild turkey. More recent reintroductions include the prairie dog, the river otter, and burrowing owls.
Established in 1901,Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is one of more than 556 refuges throughout the United States managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The 59,020 acre refuge hosts a rare piece of the past - a remnant mixed grass prairie, an island where the natural grasslands escaped destruction because the rocks underfoot defeated the plow.
The refuge provides habitat for large native grazing animals such as American bison, Rocky Mountain elk, and white-tailed deer. Texas longhorn cattle also share the refuge rangelands as a cultural and historical legacy species. More than 50 mammal, 240 bird, 64 reptile and amphibian, 36 fish, and 806 plant species thrive on this important refuge.
Visitors to the refuge can enjoy wildlife watching, hunting, fishing, special events and much more.