Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, located on the Columbia River floodplain adjacent to Ridgefield, Washington, provides 5,148 acres of vital migration and wintering habitat for birds migrating through the region west of the Cascade Mountains. The mild, rainy winter climate, combined with important remnant wetlands along the Columbia River, creates ideal resting and feeding areas for a variety of species, including ducks, geese, swans, sandhill cranes and great blue herons. A variety of other wildlife also lives in the diversity of habitats found on the refuge.
Enjoying the Refuge's Wildlife
You will be most successful at viewing wild animals in their natural habitats if you use binoculars or a spotting scope. This equipment will help you observe wildlife from a distance and minimize disturbance. Your chances of observing wildlife in the area open to the public in the River "S" Unit are much greater if you remain in your car. Wildlife is easily disturbed by visitors on foot.
You can also avoid disturbing wildlife by obeying closure signs. Portions of the refuge closed to public entry from October 1 through April 15 to protect wintering waterfowl from disturbance are identified in the General Refuge Leaflet and on maps at the entrance kiosks to the Carty and the River "S" Units. The winter period is a stressful time of the year for migratory birds, which is made even more stressful when they are forced to use vital energy reserves trying to escape disturbances on their feeding and roosting areas.
Using This Wildlife List
Bird species abundance on the refuge, by season, is illustrated on the following abundance charts. Substantial efforts were begun in 1990 to obtain data to accurately reflect species abundance. Most mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, however, are more secretive than birds, so our list of these species is also not complete. Species whose range includes the refuge have been listed, with a "*" symbol beside those positively identified on the refuge.
Refuge visitors are strongly encouraged to report any unusual sightings (such as those observed out of their normal season, large numbers, or new species seen) to the refuge biologist, whose address and phone number are listed at the end of this resource. This information will aid in future updates of the Wildlife List.
Amphibians and Reptiles
The following list of amphibians and reptiles has been obtained from inventory work conducted on the refuge.
___ Northwestern Salamander
___ Long-toed Salamander*
___ Western Red-backed Salamander*
___ Rough-skinned Newt*
___ Pacific Chorus (Tree) Frog*
___ Northern Red-legged Frog*
___ Western Painted Turtle*
___ Northern Alligator Lizard*
___ Rubber Boa*
___ Northwestern Garter Snake*
___ Common Garter Snake*
Refuge Biologist Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge 301 N. Third Street, P.O. Box 457 Ridgefield, Washington 98642 Telephone: 360/887-4106