Monday, August 8, 2011

Tamarac, a "Near Pristine" Refuge

In the last weekend in July, I headed northwest up to the Tamarac NWR. Established in 1938 Tamarac sits at the divergence of 3 biomes, coniferous forests, deciduous forest, and prairie grasslands. This provides a great diversity of habitat on the 42,724 acre refuge. These diverse habitats are a home to many different species of bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian and insect.

The refuge was originally set up to protect breeding habitat for migrating waterfowl. In the fall thousands of migrating waterfowl, often including more then 15,000 ring-necked ducks, stop over on the twenty-one lakes that are found on the refuge. Most of the lakes contain abundant food, such as wild rice beds, that the waterfowl take advantage of before they continue the trip south.
Some waterfowl remain on the refuge all summer long. Birds such as red-necked grebes, hooded mergansers, wood ducks and common loons will often nest and raise their young on the protected waters of the refuge.
With twenty-one lakes, three rivers and many other wetlands including marshes, bogs, swamps and ponds their is plenty of habitat for dragonflies. The most common that I spotted on my trip were Canada darner, blue dasher, and Halloween pennant, pictured above. There was also plenty of fields full of wild flowers with butterflies fluttering between the colorful blossoms.

The visitors center is located in the center area of the refuge over looking a beautiful wetlands. Refuge offices are also located in the building. From here they manage various aspects of the refuge including the management of wildlife such as trumpeter swans and bald eagles, water management, prescribed burnings and plantings, monitoring and controlling invasive species, and breeding bird and other surveys. All of this work has payed off to keep Tamarac in a "near pristine" state.


Snap said...

Such beautiful images of Tamarac. Thanks for taking us along.

Sylvia K said...

Gorgeous captures of such a pristine and beautiful place! Hope you have a great week!


Arija said...

A wonderfully interesting post. I have noticed over the years how photographic skills have improved with blogging and yours are no exception. The dragonfly shot is an absolute beauty!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely place. And fabulous shots!

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Very good and nice photos.


fjÀllripan said...

So beautiful, the nature reminds very much of the swedish. But the birds not, great post!