San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, Los Banos

#182 of 241 in Wildlife in California
The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge in the San Joaquin Valley of central California is one of the great remnants of a historically bountiful wintering grounds for migratory waterfowl on the Pacific Flyway. Located in the Bear Creek, Salt Slough, and San Joaquin River floodplain, it hosts a myriad of tree-lined channels and oxbows, wetlands and native grasslands.Thousands of acres of wetlands, fed by an intricate set of canals, are managed to produce natural food supplies for migratory waterfowl. San Luis also contains the most extensive network of pristine native grasslands, shrubs, and vernal pools that still remain within the Central Valley.Thousands upon thousands of mallard, pintail, green-winged teal, and ring-necked ducks flock into the managed wetlands; while the wood duck lives throughout the tree-lined slough channels.Herons and egrets nest in majestic oaks and willows, then feed on the refuge's abundant frog and crayfish populations. A wide diversity of songbirds, hawks, and owls also use refuge habitat.
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San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Reviews
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44 reviews
  • We arrived early and were the only people there. The visitor centre was open, but no one was around (except a really cute but very vocal cat). We had a quick look at the exhibits and then set off for ...  more »
  • Liked us very well, we could see Tule Elke and various birds. There is a nice Besucherzetrum. And there are many mosquitos.
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  • We were here in August when there was not a whole lot of water. As such, not many birds. Still, there are some interesting ones to see and we got some good pictures. Also saw some nice blacktail deer ...  more »
  • Tule elk to view from Auto on Auto route. Wonderful visitor's center. Marshlands auto route nice but not that much birding from it
  • We decided to stop on the way home from a Spartan race. There was so much to see and do. My daughter had fun exploring and learning about area and the wildlife here. There hiking trails and autocar tours. We got to spy on the rare California Tule Elk. At one point there number was 27. Thanks to protection and conservation they are a couple thousand strong but far from previous numbers at one time.
  • Great place to get back to nature! Hiking trails and the elk enclosure you drive around are beautiful!
  • The elk were awesome to see. Not to many hiking trails.
  • We came on a rainy day in the late afternoon. We saw all the elk and a few coyotes. At dusk we saw a bunch of deer, rabbits more coyotes, ducks, and a ton of other birds. I can't believe this place isn't more popular. Very cool.

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