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Amphibian and Reptile Checklists of the United States

Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

small state map showing location

Ortonville, Minnesota


Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Big Stone Lake-Whetstone River Flood control project. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers transferred lands to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, establishing the refuge in 1975. The refuge now encompasses 11,275 acres of the Minnesota River valley in Western Minnesota. A unique visual and geographical feature is the red lichen-covered granite outcrops for which the refuge was named.

Big Stone is primarily a grassland system with an interesting prairie-floodplain forest transition. Wildlife diversity is sustained by the variety of habitat types available, including native prairie, seeded grasses, wetlands, wet meadows, floodplain forests, granite outcrops, wood lots, agricultural food plots, and various successional stages of trees and brush along sub-irrigated pool edges.

These reptiles and amphibians may be seen on Big Stone Refuge spring through fall:
___ Smooth Softshell Turtle            ___ Fox Snake
___ Western Spiny Softshell Turtle     ___ Hog Nose Snake
___ Snapping Turtle                    ___ Mudpuppy
___ Western Painted Turtle             ___ Eastern Tiger Salamander
___ Northern Prairie Skink             ___ American Toad
___ Red-bellied Snake                  ___ Dakota Toad
___ Red-sided Garter Snake             ___ Western Chorus Frog
___ Plains Garter Snake                ___ Northern Leopard Frog
___ Bull Snake                         ___ Swampy Tree Frog

For additional information contact:

                      Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge
                      25 Northwest Second Street
                      Ortonville, MN  56278
                      Phone: (612)839-3700

Return to Bird Checklist of Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

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